Traffic, traffic everywhere flooded Westport streets after Interstate 95 was shut down Thursday morning by a fiery truck crash in Norwalk. Trucks and cars jammed, from top to bottom, the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge carrying the Post Road over the Saugatuck River, twisty Park Lane, and the intersection of Post Road with Myrtle/Imperial avenues. / Photos by Gretchen Webster

By John Schwing

WESTPORT — A fiery truck crash on Interstate 95 early Thursday in Norwalk, which shut down highway traffic in both directions, tied local Westport traffic in knots through midday … and counting.

It’s uncertain when the east-west traffic jams will ease since the highway may remain closed indefinitely because of infrastructure damage.

In a traffic advisory issued at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Westport police confirmed there is no certain time for I-95 to reopen.

Traffic stalled downtown as private and commercial drivers searched out alternate routes to closed I-95.

“Traffic in Westport will remain extremely heavy through the evening commute, and most likely in the days to come,” according to the statement by police Lt. Eric Woods.

Traffic is being routed off I-95 at Exit 13 northbound in Darien and at exit 16 southbound in Norwalk to avoid the accident site, which took place close to Exit 15 in Norwalk.

Flames from the crash damaged a Norwalk bridge spanning the highway, causing the uncertainty over when traffic will be allowed to pass through the area again.

Meanwhile, drivers seeking alternate routes have clogged major corridors through Westport like the Post Road and Merritt Parkway all morning, and also spilled onto streets and roads through local neighborhoods.

As a result, school officials warned that morning bus pickups would be delayed, and since heavy traffic congestion persists this afternoon, the same advisory is in effect for the after-school bus runs.

Anticipating local roads will continue to be heavily congested for several days, Supt. of Schools Thomas Scarice urges parents not to personally drop off and pick up students as a way to help limit disruptions to school schedules.

He suggests that students rely on transportation provided by the town’s fleet of school buses, which are obligated to run regardless.

In an email, Scarice wrote: “I encourage families to utilize the First View Bus Tracking App to assist in determining exact pick up and drop off times. This will help in managing schedules impacted by expected bus delays. Please follow this link for app access and instructions.”

Westport police said that, other than major traffic tie-ups, no serious problems had been reported by midday.

Large commercial vehicles seeking alternate routes to closed I-95 lumbered along narrow streets through local neighborhoods.