Broad Mountain Deemed Too Dangerous for Big Rigs

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has decided to move forward with a plan to ban trucks from Route 93 on Broad Mountain after three semis lost their brakes and crashed in a period of three days last spring.

Route 93 Truck Ban To Commence In The Next Few Weeks

In the next few weeks, PennDOT will place several signs on Route 93 alerting drivers to the 9% grade and banning trucks with standard 102-inch wide trailers. Trucks making local deliveries will be exempt from the ban.

Southbound trucks will have to take Route 309 south to Route 54 east and then to Route 209. Northbound trucks will take Route 54 west to 309 north.

Three Serious Crashes In Three Days Spur PennDOT To Act

The crashes that prompted the ban all took place in Nesquehoning between March 31 and April 2, 2016. Because of the steep grade, all trucks are required to stop at the top of the hill, switch to low gear, and maintain a speed of no more than 30 m.p.h. None of the truck drivers who crashed followed this requirement.

On March 31, a truck hauling new Jeeps lost control of his rig, crashing and spilling the Jeeps onto an embankment. The truck driver and passenger were not seriously hurt.

Then, on April 1, a truck lost control at the the bottom of Broad Mountain and barreled into a shed. The truck driver survived the crash.

On April 2, a truck driver lost control and tried to use a runaway truck ramp, but the ramp didn’t stop the truck, which ended up crashing into trees and coming dangerously close to crashing off of a cliff. The driver of that truck did sustain injuries.

Carbon County Commissioner Tom Gerhard strongly opposed the Route 93 truck ban, calling it a waste of tax payer money. Gerhard, a former truck driver, said that truckers need to know how to drive their vehicles properly on steep grades and that “If you can’t read English or read the signs, it doesn’t matter how many signs you put up.

Attorney Pasco Schiavo also expressed concern that the truck ban would have a negative impact on the town’s businesses

Around 50 trucks per day will be affected by the ban.

Sources:
The Standard-Speaker
Times-News Online

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