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Fuel cleanup limits ramp to Lowell Connector

State transportation officials said Saturday night that one lane on the ramp connecting Route 3 northbound to the Lowell Connector is now open as crews continue to clean up after a tanker truck crashed Friday, sending 4,000 gallons of fuel into nearby wetlands.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and authorities are looking into the possibility another vehicle cut off the tanker, police said Saturday.

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Sara Lavoie, press secretary for MassDOT, said the cleanup moved faster than expected, allowing for a part of the ramp to reopen Saturday night, instead of Sunday as anticipated.

When the truck crashed, Lavoie said the fuel went down into two storm drains, which empty into a heavily vegetated area of 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.

Immediately after the crash, 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 northbound ramp on Route 3 have reopened.

Lavoie said 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.”

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