GROTON — A crane that was working near Interstate 95 early Tuesday knocked down power lines, causing outages that forced the schools to close in Groton, and periodic traffic tie-ups throughout the day in the area of Exits 87 and 88.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation said that a crane operator with a subcontractor from A Quick Pick Crane, based in Derby, drove on the highway with the boom up as crews were removing sign supports.
The accident occurred at about 3:40 a.m. The Town of Groton police said that live electrical wires fell onto the roadway. The police closed the highway between Exits 87 and 88 in both directions. A multi-vehicle crash and a brush fire were also reported in the area.
Lanes of the highway were reopened, but the incident caused significant traffic congestion in the region through much of the morning, and delayed rush hour traffic. Crews continued work through the day and additional intermittent lane closures were used to expedite the work, according to the Connecticut State Police.
Although the work was expected to be completed by 6 p.m., the state police later announced that Exit 87 northbound and Exit 88 southbound lanes would be closed for about an hour starting at 6:15 p.m.
— Jason Vallee