AGAIN: Route 8 gridlock, attempted shortcuts and frustration in Shelton

It was another traffic nightmare along the Route 8 corridor in the Valley on Thursday evening, as a major accident on the highway northbound near the Ansonia/Derby line led to back-ups well into Shelton.

Local roads in Shelton and other Valley towns were wall-to-wall with cars making very little progress, as drivers attempted to get around the accident scene and the related congestion.

A portion of Route 8 north near the Ansonia/Derby border was closed for an extended period, after the accident occurred about 2 p.m. A large truck and a pickup truck apparently were involved in separate but related incidents and there were concerns about hazardous materials being spilled.

Reportedly, a truck crashed while carrying chemicals on the highway, and then a pickup truck with a trailer jack-knifed while trying to avoid the original accident scene.

The traffic back-ups lasted more than four hours.

Congestion spread

As the peak afternoon commute time grew nearer, the back-ups along the highway crept farther and farther south and more people tried to figure out how to get around the accident scene — for instance, by hopping off of Route 8 at various exits in Shelton.

This meant getting anywhere in Shelton along Bridgeport Avenue and in the downtown area was a nightmare — a frustrating nightmare, at that. Many other parts of the city weren’t much better.

More people began to try to find more creative ways to get places — leading to back-ups just about everywhere in Shelton remotely close to Route 8.

Many horns were honking as vehicles were unable to get through intersections. “You can’t get anywhere,” said one frustrated Shelton driver trying to get across town.

By about 6:30 p.m. or so, the parking-lot-type congestion gave way to the usual heavy commuting traffic at that time of day.