WESTFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - A major Massachsuttes highway was shut down Tuesday due to an electrical wire hazard, leaving motorists stranded in a massive traffic jam for about four hours, state police said.
A utility pole fire spreading to a low-hanging electrical wire prompted emergency crews to close both sides of Interstate 495 in Westford.
“There was no way anybody could have got around there,” Westford Dep. Fire Chief Victor Neal said. “It was way too dangerous. The wires that are involved, and if they come down, it would have been catastrophic.”
No injuries were reported and the highway has since been reopened, but motorists who suffered through the agonizing ordeal were furious.
“Everyone is unhappy out here,” Cody Murphy said. “We got into the breakdown lane, which I know you’re not supposed to, and turned around to go the other way.”
Some motorists could be seen eating a picnic-style lunch on the side of the road while they waited for the highway to reopen.
Residual traffic is expected in the area. Traffic was severely delayed and backed up for many miles.
Crews are working to determine if the poles and wires will need to be replaced. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but officials believe it could have been a weather-related issue.
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