Oops: Fire and Traffic Edition

Holy crap. Traffic has become a disaster and a half in western Connecticut and it’s been caused by one snaggletooth accident in Bridgeport. Actually, this mess is akin to a movie script and it won’t get fixed for at least a month or two in the future… it’s just one hugely ugly mess… and then some.

Last night around 7pm a fuel tanker got into an slight confrontation with at least one car and a bridge. I think everyone involved lost, except for the drivers: they all made it through the accident without getting hurt, which is a good thing. The car was mangled, I hear. The truck exploded: that’s been recapped many times over. The bridge is beat to shit and needs to be replaced. At this part of the highway (exits 25-26) they’ve been constructing a new set of lanes, with the intent of adding a new exit only lane. The original northbound side burned. The original (and unused) southbound side burned and took some damage. The new southbound lanes are currently sagging over a street in Bridgeport – all traffic is blocked from this section on i-95.

All traffic is blocked from this section on i-95.

Had to be repeated. The last time this happened, due to an accident, it took me five hours to get to the Bronx from Stamford. That’s about a 20 mile drive. Five hours. And that was an accident that closed the highway for only a couple of hours: traffic backed up for the rest of the night from that. And now i-95 is closed.

Lets recap… a fuel tanker explosion caused by a high impact accident that blows out a bridge. That’s from a movie script, right? That’s not where the drama ends though… see, now people have to traverse downtown Bridgeport to through the closed part of the highway. While it’s not quite as dangerous as the setting of “Boyz in the Hood” it’s not a place I would hangout at all night. I had jury duty down there about ten years ago… I had to develop a taste for loud bass and order my McDonald’s combo in Spanish. I walked past many a thrown out glass envelope and a couple of used condoms, when I walked from the assigned lot to the court house.

That was a while ago… since then they’ve built a minor league ballpark and ice rink. They’ve also been working in Bridgeport to add attractions and make it safer a night, and in a lot of ways they’ve succeeded – in a lot of ways they have not. Now you’ll have interstate traffic coming though the inner city streets – streets that will easily gridlock every morning by 6:30 – and what’s more, most of the drive won’t have a clue as to where they’re going: most people haven’t had a reason to go through downtown in a long while… the last mall closed 15 years ago and aside from the ballgames (one block) or courthouse, there’s still little down there. Lets face it: this is the same city that built a brand new Days Inn hotel that was open for a total of six months before it closed and stood vacant for three years and later demolished.

Should just be a matter of time before some sort of battle occurs in downtown, I’m afraid.

And of course, this mess has made a mess of Route 15. And i-84, 111, 25, 8, and 34. I went out to Danbury today: had at least five tractor-trailers in the way on 34 and a huge amount of volume on 84. I had planned to zip over to Hartford via 84 – I didn’t make it past Rt. 34 again. Followed a total of 21 trucks on all the roads I found back through my area. And I’ve heard that there’s been other issues all over the western half of the state.

So much so that they’ve added more cars to Metro-North trains to help with the added commuter load there…

All in all, this is the best time to be unemployed in CT because I can’t imagine getting to Stamford or Norwalk under the current conditions. Here’s another shot, from the underneath of the damaged bridge:

One thought on “Oops: Fire and Traffic Edition”

  1. I hear that they re-opened the southbound side of 95 this morning… northbound was opened on Monday (I think) as it wasn’t damaged by the explosion and fire…

    Less than a week to fix a broken bridge, eh? Why, then, has it taken over four years to re-work this same part of 95? What am I missing, here?

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