Fiery Tanker Crash Sparks Demolition of Connecticut Bridge

Fiery Tanker Crash Sparks Demolition of Connecticut Bridge

Crews sprung into action on Friday as they commenced the demolition of a Connecticut bridge that suffered severe damage following a harrowing incident involving a gas-filled tanker truck that crashed on Interstate 95. The calamitous event led to ‘horrendous’ delays, which even resulted in the closure of schools.

In the early hours of Friday, workers mobilized at the Fairfield Avenue overpass, a day post the fiery crash that triggered a 13-mile backlog on the southbound lanes of the Merritt Parkway in Fairfield. Substantial delays were also experienced on the northbound direction and surrounding roads.

The segment of I-95 that bore the brunt of the crash is slated to remain inaccessible until at least Monday following the shocking Thursday morning collision. The scene unfolded as a tanker truck, loaded with 8,500 gallons of gas, collided with a tractor-trailer and a car before erupting into a massive fireball.

With Norwalk Public Schools shuttered on Friday due to persistent traffic concerns and delays, residents were advised to telecommute and avoid non-essential travel to alleviate congestion along the interstate, a crucial route linking New York and New England.

To mitigate traffic congestion, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling elaborated plans to stagger work timings for commuters, allowing them to arrive and depart at varying hours. Additionally, staff members were encouraged to work remotely to reduce the volume of vehicles on the road.

Meanwhile, Governor Ned Lamont cautioned motorists to seek alternate routes amidst the closure of I-95, which bore substantial damage from the burning fuel. Lamont expressed relief that no serious injuries were reported and emphasized the imperative to steer clear of the afflicted area due to the ‘horrendous’ traffic gridlock during peak hours.

Besides the closure of I-95, secondary roads, including the Merritt Parkway, encountered severe congestion as truck traffic had to be diverted due to low underpasses. The prolonged closure of I-95, northbound and southbound near Exit 15 in Norwalk, was anticipated to persist, prolonging traffic disturbances over the weekend.

Evidently, the aftermath of the crash caused significant structural damage to the overpass, with Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto noting the extreme impact of the ignited gasoline on the bridge’s steel infrastructure, leading to warping and overheating.

In response to the crisis, Lamont swiftly declared a state of emergency to expedite the flow of resources necessary for prompt highway repairs. The declaration aimed to secure federal aid for the rehabilitation efforts and advised the public to remain cautious and evade the impacted zone.

As investigations into the calamity persist, the community remains vigilant for updates and urges motorists to exercise caution and prudence in their travel decisions to facilitate the ongoing recovery operations.


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