I-95 in Connecticut closed for a 'significant period' after fuel truck explosion

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Updated May 6, 2024

Update: As of 10 a.m. local time on May 5, 2024, I-95 in Norwalk has reopened according to Governor Ned Lamont. 

At about 5:30 a.m. May 2 on I-95 in Norwalk, Connecticut, a tractor-trailer, a fuel truck and a passenger vehicle collided, causing a massive fire that's shuttered the interstate and caused "horrendous" traffic in the area, according to Governor Ned Lamont. 

"Thank God there were no serious injuries, but it has resulted in the closing of I-95 North and South, and that is incredible in terms of the traffic jams," he said at a press conference early Thursday morning. 

Lamont said the state had "given notice to trucking companies" to take I-87 or I-84, and that additional traffic information was available on CTroads.org

"Commercial vehicle operators are asked to monitor vehicle weight and height restrictions while navigating alternate routes," state police wrote on Twitter. "Commercial vehicles remain prohibited from traveling on CT Parkways."

Lamont said authorities needed "a couple hours to investigate" the cause of the crash, and that they're "also looking at structural damage to the bridge."

"I can just tell you that I have talked to Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and the Feds are standing by," he continued. "I know what an incredible inconvenience this is for people, and all I can ask you to stay away from that area as best you can because the traffic jams are horrendous." 

Buttigieg wrote on Twitter/X that "our highways team is working closely with Connecticut's DOT on the tanker fire that has closed I-95 in Norwalk. ... Please heed local authorities on detours and avoid the area if possible. Thank you to the first responders who are dealing with the fire and keeping other drivers safe."

Paul Rizzo, Connecticut's chief of highway operations, said that sign boards in Connecticut and surrounding states would inform drivers of the closure.

Scott Hill, chief engineer at the Connecticut DOT, stressed that "the bridge is stable" but that "we need to finish the police investigation to get in to look at the bridge."

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There were utility wires hanging down, but the bridge was "not a collapse issue, the area is safe," said Hill. "Once we figure out how much damage is done to the bridge -- gasoline can really heat up and deform the steel of the bridge -- we'll know more. We anticipate we will know more around 1 or 2 p.m." 

Said Governor Lamont, "We anticipate this area of the highway to be closed for a significant period. Anyone traveling through this area should find alternate routes." 

In June of 2023, a tanker fire under an overpass closed I-95 in Philadelphia. Authorities originally thought it would take months to fix, with a bridge replacement. Within three weeks, the bridge was back supporting passenger traffic

[Related: Pennsylvania I-95 driver in tanker fire ID's at Nathan Moody of TK Transport]

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