Update: Woo-hoo! All lanes have been reopened. The bad news? You'll still want to avoid the area (more at the bottom). First posted at 12:57 p.m.

Bad news, party people.

If you're driving to Las Vegas for the weekend to take advantage of off-season hotel rates and ever dipping gas prices (it's all President Obama's fault!), be prepared to ditch that ecstasy tab in favor of a chill pill.

Because pretty much the only road in and out of Vegas from L.A. was shut down today as the result of …

… a tanker crash that culminated with a spill of ferric chloride onto the roadway, according to a CHP statement: Officials said the closure could last well into the rest of the day, but there are reports that two lanes headed into Vegas have been reopened this afternoon (yay?!).

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This all started about 6:30 a.m. at Yates Well Road about 5 miles from the Nevada border, at right about the location where you get giddy seeing the Las Vegas Valley ahead and wonder just how much money you'll lose.

Even with the partial reopening, CHP officials say that avoiding the route all together is your best bet.

[Added]: And if you don't think that's enough of a warning, the Los Angeles Times reports a 10 mile backup on the freeway, with people turning around and heading home.

[Added #2]: You can search for updates on the traffic situation via the CHP's website (enter “Barstow” in the “Communications Centers” box on the upper left).

[Update at 4:38 p.m.]: Caltrans just declared that all lanes have been reopened. Sounds good, but the agency says there's still a two hour backup. Avoid.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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