The ramp connecting Route 3 northbound to the Lowell Connector will remain closed into Sunday as crews continue to cleanup 4,000 gallons of fuel that spilled into nearby wetlands on Friday when a tanker truck crashed and rolled over, officials said.
The cause of the oil spill that spewed 4,000 gallons of fuel into the road and surrounding wetlands is still unknown, but investigators are looking into the possibility that another vehicle cut off the tanker, State Police said in a statement on Saturday.
Sara Lavoie, press secretary for MassDOT, said the fuel went down two storm drains, which empty into a heavily vegetated area in a nearby wetlands.
Water supply wells close to the wetlands were taken off-line out of an abundance of caution, she said, and a contractor has been hired to remove the spilled fuel from the area.
The fuel has affected about 400 to 600 square feet of the marshy area, said Joseph Ferson, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.
Immediately following the all roads within 1,000 feet of the crash — sections of Routes 3, 110, 129, and Interstate 495 — were closed as a precaution. All except the Route 3 northbound ramp to the Lowell Connector have reopened.
Bret O’Connor Trucking owns the truck, and P&H Transportation owns the trailer and the fuel, Ferson said.
Lavoie said that it may take two days to complete cleanup of the highway and adjacent areas.
“This is an unfortunate event, but we are fortunate that it happened on a weekend,” Lavoie said.Matthew Higgins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris Stuck-Girard can be reached email@example.com.