In Pennsylvania there are really only 2 seasons, Winter and Construction. Rte 83 in Harrisburg has been under some form of repair/construction for about 3 years now. The latest project is a redesign of the 581/83 bridge that runs between Carlisle/Camp Hill and Harrisburg. This section of highway is ridiculous, it can’t handle 1/3 of the traffic it sees and the construction was long overdue. I am so glad I no longer fight work near there and have to engage in vehicular combat with the state drones twice a day. I am sure the union slackers will get it done under-budget and ahead of schedule (lol).
Well, there has been a “snag”, a truck transporting diesel fuel rolled over on the one of the interchanges between 22/322 and rte 81. This is in northern section of H-burg. When I tell you the trailer burned to the ground, I mean it (see the pic below). Further details are in the article at the bottom.
The fire damaged the overpass so much that pieces of 322 are falling into the lanes of 81 below. I am sure this development will do wonders for the locals commutes. This project will likely need to be done quickly so I expect the costs to high. I would not be surprised if the costs of the repairs ends up being paid for with a small state-wide gas tax increase. After all it wouldn’t be fair for the trucker and his trucking company to have to pay the bill, aren’t we all part of the same “village”?
Road repairs could take at least two months after tanker fire on Interstate 81
Damage from a fuel tanker explosion near the interchange of Interstate 81 and Route 22/322 will cost tens of millions and shut down a small section of road for two months or more, state officials said Thursday afternoon.
Earlier Thursday morning, a fuel tanker exploded and rolled over on the highway, causing what Gov. Tom Corbett believes is the worst damage to a Pennsylvania highway since a tire fire off I-95 near Philadelphia in 1996.
Both directions of I-81 from Route 581 in Cumberland County to I-81/83 split in Dauphin County are closed. Officials said they expect it to reopen in time for the Monday morning commute.
The ramp from northbound I-81 to westbound Route 22/322 remains closed. Eastbound Route 22 through the interchange toward the City of Harrisburg remains closed.
Earlier this afternoon, PennDOT re-opened the ramp from westbound Route 22 to southbound Interstate 81 in the I-81 Exit 67 interchange.
Westbound traffic on Route 22 approaching the I-81 Exit 67 interchange can now continue through the interchange to go west toward Dauphin and State College, north onto northbound I-81, and south onto southbound I-81.
To help ease traffic, Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls are being waived between the Harrisburg East and Carlisle exits. The turnpike said in a news release that tolls will be waived until at least Sunday or Monday.
State officials hope to reopen one lane in each direction to traffic on the outbound side in time for the Monday morning commute, but the inbound side needs to be removed along with the bridge overhead the spot on 81 where the explosion occurred.
Detour signs will be posted on roadways. Officials also encourage motorists to check the
511pa.com traffic web site.
About 2,000 gallons of fuel also spilled into Paxton Creek and Wildwood Lake. Environmental crews are on site cleaning up now and will continue to monitor for at least a couple months.
The explosion and roads closures also caused a gridlock on roads throughout the Harrisburg region that delayed school buses and business openings and will cause delays indefinitely.
State police have not yet released details about the cause of the explosion, the name of the driver, nor the company that owns the truck. He was burned only “mildly”, according to initial reports, despite fuel fire temperatures that can reach as high as 1,400 degrees, PennDOT officials said.
State police expect to release updates to the investigation by Friday.
Corbett is seeking federal approval for an emergency declaration, but said state workers will have a typical schedule Friday. He advised them – and everyone else commuting Friday in the Harrisburg area – to allow extra time to travel.