Fiery Truck Crash Shuts Down Part of I-95 Section of Highway Between New York and Boston Could Be Closed for Weeks By SARAH COFFEY, AP BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (March 26) A section of Interstate 95, the main traffic artery linking New York and Boston, could be shut down for two weeks or more following a fiery tanker truck wreck that melted a bridge. ''It's going to be a pain in the neck,'' Gov. John G. Rowland said after surveying the scene Friday. State police said a car apparently forced the tanker truck into a concrete barrier on the southbound side of the interstate Thursday night. The truck carried 12,000 gallons of home heating oil, which fueled a huge blaze that sent a fireball dozens of feet into the air. AP The fire from the truck melted highway support beams on I-95. The highway buckled and the overpass, which was new, sagged several feet, said Ronald Jantzen, a state Department of Transportation engineer. The fire damaged the steel support beams that carry both sides of I-95 over an avenue. Jantzen described the southbound side of the interstate as ''totaled.'' Engineers were taking measurements Friday morning as crews worked to clean up the scene. Rowland said northbound I-95 possibly could reopen this weekend. But the southbound side of the bridge will have to be torn down, he said. Instead of rebuilding the bridge, engineers will close the street below and use dirt to fill in the span; a temporary highway will then be built on top of that fill. Rowland said he hoped the southbound highway could be reopened in two weeks, and estimated the cost of the temporary fix at $3 million to $4 million. Rowland declared the site a disaster area, in hopes of making the repair project eligible for federal funds. I-95 is a vital East Coast artery that is heavily congested in New England. Nearly 120,000 vehicles a day travel the span where the crash happened. State officials urged motorists, especially tractor-trailer drivers, to avoid I-95 and the Bridgeport area until the highway is fixed. One alternate route, the Merritt Parkway, is closed to commercial trucks because of low bridges. The truck driver in Thursday's accident and a firefighter were treated for slight injuries.