RAW DOT Video
Watermelon waste spill leads to I-43 ramp closure
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department says that crews had to shut down an on-ramp to I-43 in Milwaukee after a spill of what was described as watermelon waste.
The spill happened at about 8:35 a.m. Thursday morning on the ramp from Green Bay Avenue to southbound I-43 on Milwaukee's north side. It was cleared up by 10:15 a.m.
"We had callers saying there were watermelons taking up the second lane of the Capitol Drive on-ramp from Green Bay Avenue," said Sheriff's Department Spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jodi Becker.
"There was too much of this fruit waste left in the lane."
A sheriff's staff member originally said that watermelons had spilled, but McLaughlin clarified that it was what she called watermelon waste. Crews were found shoveling the watermelon off the freeway ramp.
"We were able to shovel off all those rinds to the right. We brought in the highway (dept.) to take up the bulk of it and then a sweeper to clean off the whole lane so that it wasn't too slippery," explained McLaughlin.
"It was about 20 feet of fruit waste. If you try to brake in that, you could have a problem keeping control of your car."
Wisconsin DOT cameras showed seagulls flying in and enjoying the fruit.
"It really was a feast of seagulls," said McLaughlin.
She explained that the truck which spilled the watermelon waste did not remain on the scene of the spill.
"We're not certain that they knew all that fruit waste had fallen from the load on the truck."