Rigs rerouted on I-70
By Linda Metz, Staff writer
August 29, 2009
Truck drivers traveling from Interstate 70 west to
Route 18 in Washington will no longer be allowed to use the
Jefferson Avenue exit.
Instead, beginning Sept. 4, truckers will be diverted
to the Jessop Place exit and back onto I-70 east, where they then
will use the eastbound Jefferson Avenue exit to get into Washington
and to Routes 18 and 844.
"For quite some time, we've been trying to figure out
some creative ideas to make that traffic flow better," said state
Department of Transportation traffic engineer Rachel Duda.
Motorists familiar with the exit know that traffic
often backs up onto I-70, causing safety hazards on the busy
And Duda said that while attempts to ease the
congestion have been made in the past, there really is nothing that
can be done other than detouring trucks from using the exit.
According to Duda, the backup is caused by the exit's
sharp bend and the two traffic signals at the bottom that are
located within close proximity of each other.
After several engineering studies and traffic counts,
including one completed within the past six weeks, it was PennDOT's
decision to permanently close the westbound exit to truck traffic.
"The eastbound off-ramp can accommodate all the
vehicles without impeding Interstate 70," Duda explained.
She added that the traffic restriction is permanent,
at least until a final solution to the traffic problem can be
there are businesses located on either side of the exit that makes
it unable for the road to be widened," Duda stated. "There's not
much else we can do."