Interstate 95 Reopens After Damaged Bridge Is Demolished

A section of Interstate 95 in Connecticut reopened on Sunday morning after a fiery accident last week damaged an overpass and shut down the highway, a major artery along the East Coast.

In the accident, fuel from a fuel tanker carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline ignited the Fairfield Avenue Bridge in Norwalk, Conn., which stretched over the highway. Workers spent 80 hours repairing the road and demolishing the damaged bridge, said Ned Lamont, the governor of Connecticut, in a statement on Sunday.

There were no serious injuries in the crash, but the damage caused by the intense heat from the burning fuel was so significant that Governor Lamont declared a state of emergency.

Repairing the roadway “is vital to the security, well-being and health of the residents of Connecticut, as well as the residents of the states along the Eastern Seaboard,” he wrote.

The cost to demolish the bridge and replace it will be around $20 million, Julia Bergman, the communications director for the governor, said on Sunday.

Exit 15 in Norwalk, near where the accident occurred, reopened on Sunday.

Without the bridge, drivers will need to use other overpasses to cross the interstate, Ms. Bergman added. The state is seeking federal funding to replace the bridge, Governor Lamont said at a news conference on Thursday.

The crash on Thursday occurred around 5:30 a.m. on the southbound side of the interstate. It involved a passenger vehicle, a tractor-trailer and the fuel tanker, which was carrying around 8,500 gallons of gasoline. At least half of the fuel spilled across the highway, state officials said.

The incident created a nightmarish rush-hour commute that backed up traffic for miles and sent drivers on slow-moving detours. The closure also forced Norwalk Public Schools to cancel classes on Friday.

Over the weekend, workers removed tons of steel, concrete and debris from the interstate before repaving the roadway, Governor Lamont said.

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