Parts of New Britain road to be closed through weekend after train derailment

A train derailed in New Britain, leaving construction waste along Columbus Boulevard. (WFSB photo)

Parts of Columbus Boulevard in New Britain will be closed, possibly through Saturday, following a train derailment.

The train had been carrying trash when it derailed on Tuesday afternoon.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said everything that spilled was non-hazardous construction waste that was being transported by a Pan Am freight train. The waste was from various projects done by Branford-based Cherry Hill Construction.

Mayor Erin Stewart said Wednesday morning that the city's crews were off the scene. Cleanup was turned over to Pan Am.

Chestnut Street to Bank Street on Columbus Boulevard is still expected to remain closed for days. DEEP estimated that the closure would last until Saturday.

City crews are finally off scene - cleanup turned over to @PanAmRail Columbus Blvd will be shut down for days... Chestnut to Bank.— Mayor Erin Stewart (@stewartfornb) December 7, 2016


video captured the aftermath

of the incident. It showed mounds of trash, the weight of which broke through brick barriers.

The cleanup began Tuesday night, but city officials told Eyewitness News that it will take days. Heavy equipment had to be brought in from other cities, even another state, to aid in the cleanup.

It's gonna be awhile... #cleanup #newbritain— Mayor Erin Stewart (@stewartfornb) December 7, 2016

Since Tuesday night, Cherry Hill Construction crews have been out using excavators to pry the trash out of the cars, then using front loaders to haul it out.

Pan Am crews are fixing the tracks.

The only taxpayer cost on Wednesday is the police details that block the streets.

"We'll be sending a bill wherever it needs to for the amount of work we needed to put into this. As far as the city crews being on scene, they are not city workers using our equipment," Stewart said.

Some residents said they were not surprised it happened.

"The car on the train shakes," said Jeffrey Gomes of New Britain. "So sooner or later, I knew something like that was about to happen."

Jesse Suarez was watching from his liquor store as the freight train derailed.

"Police came in and told us we had to leave the plaza because they weren't sure what kind of debris was hauled in," Suarez said.

Pan-Am said demand for its services increased in recent months. It said more trains have been running since September.

No one was hurt in Tuesday's incident.

The investigation into what caused the derailment continues.

The Federal Railroad Administration is also investigating.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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