WILMINGTON, Delaware - The Delaware Memorial Bridge was shut down in both directions late Sunday afternoon on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority, which run the bridge linking New Jersey and Delaware, was requested to close down the bridge because of a chemical gas leak. The leak is coming from a Croda, production plant below the bridge, next to the northbound span, according to spokesman James Salmon.

Salmon did not know the extent of the leak or how long the bridge would be closed.

Holloway Terrace Fire Chief Mark Willis told DelawareOnline.com the plant was leaking Ethylene oxide, a highly flammable gas.

Holloway Terrace Fire Company Public Information Officer George Greenley told the Associated Press that fire officials were waiting for the pressure to dissipate in the pipes a the facility before reopening the bridge. He told the Press that the bridge is expected to open in the next few hours.

Northbound traffic on Route 95 in Delaware had multi-mile delays approaching the bridge.  Traffic on the southbound side was delayed from both the Turnpike and Route 295.

Northbound travelers not able to cross the bridge created delays on Route 495 and 95 heading into Pennsylvania hoping to use the Commodore Barry Bridge to cross the Delaware River back to the NJ Turnpike.

Drivers heading south were forced off the Turnpike at exit 2 for the Route 322 and the Commodore Barry Bridge into Pennsylvania.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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