Two tractor trailer crashes have shut down Interstate 90 in the same construction zone in just two weeks.
Emergency crews said that this can slow them down while attempting to get to the injured.
Here is more on how PennDOT is responding to these issues.
Multiple accidents have closed down I-90 near the West Springfield exit.
An accident took place on June 12 where three tractor trailers collided. When traffic is at a halt, one local fire department struggles to get to the emergencies.
Cars being stopped and tractor trailers being turned over is an all too familiar scene on I-90 after multiple accidents have taken place in the construction zone.
Despite these accidents, PennDOT plans to keep the traffic set up as is.
“Any issues that we see we’re taking care of daily. Twice a day we monitor it and we track it, but currently there isn’t any major adjustments we’re going to perform that I think are going to widen that,” said Nate Nunez, Assistant Construction Engineer for Erie County.
When the interstate is shut down from these accidents, it makes it harder for towing companies such as Double A Towing to help anyone in need.
“It can be very dangerous for people, especially at nighttime. I’ve had quite a few tire changes and helping people tow off the side of the road from there and it’s definitely been very, very uneasy,” said Albert Coccitto, Owner of Double A Towing.
This recently closed access point to I-90 has created another obstacle for the Platea Volunteer Fire Department when they are responding to an emergency situation on the interstate.
“So we either have to go down Old State 98 to get to 90 to come in West, or we have to go down and get on to 15 to come East,” said Katrina Michael, Assistant Fire Chief for Platea Volunteer Fire Department.
The new detour can add up to 15 minutes to Platea’s response time to some places.
As traffic is clogged during accidents, emergency vehicles are stuck behind drivers who are not moving over.
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“Having them cutting off each other to try and go around them or they’re not moving over at all or they come to a dead stop and you can’t make it around them,” said Michael.
Now the Route 18 bridge is expected to be open for traffic at the beginning of July.