Merritt reopened after truck crash in Greenwich

truckThe northbound lanes of the Merritt Parkway in Greenwich have reopened after a tractor-trailer truck that struck a bridge forced a detour for several hours Monday.

State Police said the truck struck the King Street overpass on the New York state/Connecticut border. The northbound lanes were closed between Exits 27 and 28.

State and local police rerouted traffic from the Hutchinson River Parkway onto the King Street exit ramp and back onto Merrit for about four hours, causing a significant northbound back-up on the “Hutch” stretching several miles into New York State.

At about 4 p.m., the state Department of Transportation announced the scene had been cleared and the lanes reopened.

The tractor trailer was carrying highway sign stanchions. Part of the truck’s load became dislodged.

The top of the truck’s cab has extensive damage. Debris from the truck covered a portion of the Merritt Parkway.

Tractor-trailer trucks are not allowed on the parkway.

Often, truckers unfamiliar with the area take the parkway by following GPS instructions … instead of reading the signs telling them trucks are banned.

During the last session in the General Assembly,  a bill proposed that would require height barriers at entrances on the Merritt Parkway. SB 470 would have used height barriers to help enforce a large truck ban. That bill, proposed by Sen. Antonietta Boucher, R-Wilton, died in committee.

Trucks illegally using the Merritt Parkway are not uncommon.

In September 2009, a produce truck struck the same King Street bridge snarling traffic and littering the roadway with hundreds of onions.

In November 2011, a tractor-trailer truck got stuck underneath a Merritt Parkway bridge in Norwalk.

In March 2012, a garbage truck slammed into Grumman Avenue overpass in Norwalk closing the parkway for hours.

In August 2010, a truck carrying 50,000 pounds of flour hit the North Avenue overpass in Westport backing up traffic for more than six hours. Part of the truck collapsed onto the highway after the collision.

For a list of what is allowed to travel on the Merritt Parkway, click here.

Jim Shay