Airborne Oily Substance Prompts Shutdown of Road Near I-55 Near Joliet

ExxonMobil has created a claims number for any damage to homes, vehicles


The inadvertent release of "petroleum-based material" prompted the closure of Arsenal Road, near Interstate 55 on Friday.

The nearby ExxonMobile refinery says the material was a mixture of gasoline and other chemicals and may have coated homes and vehicles, in addition to the shutdown of Arsenal Road between I-55 and Baseline road.

County spokeswoman Anastasia Tuskey said the release is not considered a health hazard.

"The only reason (the road) was closed is because it got a little slippery," she said.

County highway crews have been laying sand on the road to make it drivable again. The sheriff’s department said it would remain closed for the rest of the business day Friday.

ExxonMobil said it is taking the following steps because of the release:

  • It will reimburse anyone in the area who had to have their cars washed because they were soiled by the product. People should keep receipts from the car wash.
  • Semi-trailers can by washed at A&R Transport, 2223 Empress Rd. in Joliet. No “out-of-pocket payment” will be required.
  • A toll-free claims number will be set up for people whose vehicles or property were impacted. Those with additional questions can call (714) 815-7411.

Sheriff’s police late Friday morning were checking other area roads to see if they were affected, including area between I-55, where the refinery is located, and Route 53.

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