Downtown Bristol blocked off after trash truck brings down power lines

WSBT 22 photo

Officials tell us traffic in downtown Bristol may not be getting back to normal on State Road 120 until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

An accident brought down power lines and poles on State Road 120.

The town marshal of Bristol is requesting drivers avoid State Road 120 between State Road 15 North and State Road 15 South -- basically all of downtown Bristol.

It was a rare sight in Bristol, no traffic on State Road 120 through downtown.

At first traffic was at a standstill. Then stuck drivers were cleared and rerouted around it.

At first many didn't know what was going on.

“At first there was a lot of chaos, you know there was traffic backed up,” said Heather Armstrong, “It basically got gridlocked.”

It all started when a truck came through here carrying a load of materials passing under overhead wires.

“The load shifted and part of that load had went above the truck,” said Mike Albin. “And due to that caught these wires, and due to that caught those wires and started pulling wires down and then snapping poles as it was coming through.”

It left a lot of low hanging wires while also causing several transformers to blow.

A lot of semis, buses, and trucks towing RVs go through Bristol headed to and from the Toll Road by State Road 120 and State Road 15.

“Our traffic through this area is extremely heavy and to shut it down like this is a major artery. We're trying to get this opened as quick as possible,” said Albin.

All that traffic had to be rerouted through several neighborhood streets while crews made repairs.

Through a good part of Tuesday morning and afternoon, there was no traffic going through busy State Road 120 through Bristol.

It’s almost as if it were a ghost town for a good part of the day. It’s something that didn't sit too well with local merchants and shops owners, who wondered when the road would open back up.

“With the street blocked off the way it is now, there's going to be no customers,” said Heather Armstrong, Evans Sidewalk CafĂ©. “We do have a few of our regulars right now. They parked over at the grocery store about three blocks away, but besides that the street is empty out completely.”

It affected everyone in town one way or the other.

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