A chunk of concrete which came loose on the most-traveled stretch of highway in the state is being blamed for the Wednesday morning traffic backup eastbound on Interstate 84 heading into Hartford.  The accident near exit 49 shortly after 6 a.m. had traffic backed up for miles through most of the rush hour period.

Judd Everhart at the state Department of Transportation says a piece of concrete, about three feet by one foot, by several inches,  came loose from an expansion joint on the section of highway on what’s known as the “Aetna Viaduct.”  The van driver suffered minor injuries when he swerved to avoid it,  and his vehicle wound up on its side.

Crews removed the van,  and put a temporary patch on the expansion joint.  A more extensive repair is planned Wednesday night.  Everhart says the highway is safe.

Everhart says it’s not clear what caused the concrete to come loose in this case,  but says it does tend to break occasionally at the joints,  which are designed to expand and contract, to allow for heating and cooling of the roadway surface. He says the Aetna Viaduct stretch of  I-84,  which carries more than 175,000 vehicles a day,  is the most heavily-traveled section of highway in the state.


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