All I-95 lanes in Norwalk reopen one day after overpass demolition

The highway had been closed since Thursday morning when a petroleum tanker, tractor-trailer and car collided. Northbound lanes fully reopened at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Rose Shannon and Tom Krosnowski

May 5, 2024, 1:35 PM

Updated 18 days ago

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All lanes of I-95 in Norwalk reopened to motorists in both directions Sunday morning.
Gov. Ned Lamont made the announcement after the northbound lanes opened Saturday night following a massive fire that forced closure of the major roadway.
The highway had been closed since Thursday morning when a petroleum tanker, tractor-trailer and car collided. The ensuing fire damaged the Fairfield Avenue overpass.
The Fairfield Avenue overpass was fully demolition Saturday afternoon. Once the bridge was demolished, crews cleared the scene and repaved the road before Sunday's steady rainfall
"Weather cooperated, conditions on the ground cooperated, and it's really a testament to our crews and the contractors. Just incredibly skilled and professional people out there getting the job done," said Josh Morgan, Connecticut Department of Transportation's communications manager
Northbound lanes fully reopened at 8 p.m. Saturday, ahead of schedule.
Lamont announced Sunday morning that the roadway would be fully opened by 10 a.m.
"The fact that the highway was entirely closed allowed a significant number of excavators and equipment to be on virtually every lane of the highway. They were cutting and sawing, removing the highway, picking up that debris. They were working at, basically, lightspeed," Morgan said.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling told News 12 that it's remarkable that the highway had fully reopened within 80 hours of Thursday's accident.
"We're all so happy that nobody got injured in the accident. It could have been a catastrophe," he said.
Rilling said during the past couple of days, there was gridlock throughout the city. He says he is thankful to all the residents who were very patient during the closure.
"They understood that this was something beyond our control, and we were going to have to deal with it for a couple of days. The businesses understood that maybe they weren't going to have as many patrons as they normally do. We're also looking into seeing if there are any low-interest loans that we can apply for on their behalf," Rilling said.
Rilling added he and his team had constant meetings and briefings throughout the closure. He also said he frequently spoke with Lamont.
Morgan also told News 12 he appreciated people being patient while the interstate was closed.
"We know people were frustrated, we know there was a lot of traffic congestion this weekend, and we are just so incredibly pleased that we're able to get the roadway open this weekend, certainly well in advance of Monday morning's rush hour," Morgan said.
Residents said they were pleased that the work ended sooner than expected.
"Coming down the hill this morning, I'm looking at this beautiful sight. Traffic is flowing, Connecticut Avenue is alleviated from all the traffic it had. I think everyone did a fantastic job. They deserve a lot of credit - everyone involved deserves a great amount of respect," said Robert Dominick.
A temporary bridge will not be built. Morgan said engineers have begun work on determining what the new bridge will look like.
"We already have some preliminary designs in hand. We're going to be refining those over the next couple of weeks so we can get an emergency project in place and get that bridge put up and replaced hopefully within the next year," Morgan said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal has estimated the total cost of the demolition and installation of that future bridge at about $20 million. Blumenthal said it will be fully covered by the federal government.


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