EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 16, 2013

Downed wire on Route 114 snarls traffic

LAWRENCE — A low-hanging wire may have been snagged by a truck, bringing it down on top of several cars parked near the Dunkin’ Donuts and Friendly’s restaurants on Route 114 yesterday.

The accident brought traffic on the busy commuter thoroughfare to a halt as work crews worked to repair the cables and restore service to area customers.

The ramp from Interstate-495 north to Route 114 east was shut down for two hours, according to Mike Verseckes, a spokesman for the Mass. Department of Transportation.

Drivers traveling north on 495 and trying to get into North Andover had to go to the next exit, Massachusetts Avenue, and come into the town that way, causing significant back-up on back roads.

Some commuters reported being 30 to 45 minutes late to work.

Meanwhile, police were stationed on 114 in Lawrence on the west side of the 495 overpass, sending drivers back the way they came, while on the North Andover side, drivers were diverted to Waverly Road, either toward Route 28 and Andover, or toward Mass. Avenue in North Andover.

North Andover police said they were letting people go to the Market Basket shopping center at the bottom of the hill, but they couldn’t get through to Lawrence.

Route 125 was also backed up throughout the morning as commuters sought alternate routes around the road blocks.

Utility crews were working at the scene for about two hours, and traffic was reopened at about 10:45 a.m.

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