All lanes of I-25 reopen after tanker fire near Denver Tech Center

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. -- All lanes of Interstate 25 in both directions reopened early Thursday morning after a tanker fire closed the busy highway on Wednesday afternoon.

Crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation worked overnight to repair the interstate near the Denver Tech Center after a tanker carrying diesel fuel and several other types of oil caused a massive fire just north of Orchard Road.

The interstate reopened just before 5 a.m. All lanes of southbound Interstate 25 at Belleview Avenue opened about midnight.

Tolls are no longer being waived on E-470.

The interstate normally sees about 200,000 to 250,000 vehicles each day, said CDOT executive director Shailen Bhatt. There were 70 CDOT and contract workers brought in to make the repairs.

Hazardous materials crews cleared the chemicals and fuel before CDOT crews could mill the pavement and make the repairs.

Four inches of asphalt were damaged on the shoulder on northbound I-25 and three inches of asphalt were damaged to the right three lanes of the median.

More repairs will be needed in later weeks on the barrier and asphalt that suffered damage, Bhatt said.

The crash happened about noon when the truck lost a tire and crashed into the median, causing an explosion and sending a huge fireball and plume of black smoke that was seen for miles across the Denver metro area.

The driver was taken to Swedish Medical Center, but his condition is not known.

The closure caused a major traffic headache in the south metro area as drivers were told to avoid the area as the tanker burned for hours.