Early morning I-91 rollover causes lingering traffic woes

  • A lumber truck rolled over and lost part of its load on I-91 in Holyoke early Wednesday. MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/22/2020 11:47:47 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Cleanup from a morning roll-over on Interstate 91 in Holyoke on Wednesday drastically slowed traffic in Northampton near the evening rush hour.

According to the Massachusetts State Police Twitter account, a tractor-trailer rolled over between Exits 17 and 16 on I-91 south and minor injuries were reported. State Police Lt. Michael Blanchette said the accident happened around 4 a.m. and involved a lumber truck.

Blanchette said authorities closed the right lane of travel until around 7 p.m., as lumber needed to be offloaded from the truck that had rolled over.

“There was a lot of equipment needed,” Blanchette said about the lumber recovery.

Southbound traffic on I-91 in Northampton was backed up from Exit 18 for much of the day with vehicles looking to avoid the highway by taking Route 5 south. This caused congestion in Northampton, police said.

Northampton Police Sgt. Brian Letzeisen said some streets in Northampton, including Conz Street and Pleasant Street, were gridlocked during the evening rush hour, and he believed that was due to the knock-on effects of the rollover. Traffic congestion in the city cleared up around 6:30 p.m., he said.

During the downtown gridlock, Letzeisen said traffic was clear on Route 5 south of Northampton past the highway’s on- and off-ramps.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.

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