(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — An East Palestine, Ohio road has reopened to traffic as excavation and soil work in the area near completion, months after the Norfolk Southern train derailment.

East Taggart Street has been closed to traffic since the Norfolk Southern train derailment in February 2023. The road has been closed to transport waste, equipment and materials in and out of the cleanup work areas.

The road reopened to traffic overnight back in September. Beginning on Monday, Oct. 23, the road is reopening to traffic in both directions.

Workers are currently in Phase II of the project. Drivers can expect periodic traffic stoppage—of up to 15 minutes or more— during daytime working hours to allow for truck traffic entering and leaving the cleanup site.

East Taggart Street will continue to be open to traffic in both directions, with intermittent
traffic stoppages through the first quarter of 2024, when the project is expected to be completed.

A Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio at 8:55 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2023, about a quarter-mile west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line. According to the EPA, 20 of the affected cars contained hazardous materials, including vinyl chloride, ethylene glycol, ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate and isobutylene.

The derailment caused a large fire and led to an evacuation order and the declaration of a state of emergency.

As work in the area continues, the Unified Command, which is leading the ongoing emergency response, reports it will continue to evaluate site conditions for health and safety.