Multiple runaway trucks cause PennDOT to ban semis on state road

The truck ban was announced after a church at the bottom of the mountain was hit by a runaway truck for the fifth time in six years.

Transportation officials have announced that trucks weighing more than 13 tons will be banned on notorious Pennsylvania roadway after numerous big rigs have lost their brakes and crashed.

On Friday, December 21, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that they will be implementing a new 13 ton weight limit for trucks on a steep portion of State Road 160 in Wellerburg, effective as of January 12, 2019.

The new weight limit will be implemented on a 3.7 mile section of southbound SR 160 from Route 2015 (Glencoe Road) to the Maryland State Line. Trucks weighting more than 13 tons will be directed by signs onto the detour route, which will take them from Berlin onto Route 219 South into Maryland and then onto I-68.

PennDOT says trucks hauling local deliveries will be exempted from the new weight limit requirements.

The move comes after at least 10 trucks have lost control and crashed on the steep grade in recent years. Notably, a church located at the bottom of the mountain only 10 yards off of SR 160 was demolished back in November after it was struck by a runaway truck for the fifth time in six years.

Pennsylvania Church

A recent op-ed in the local newspaper the Tribune-Democrat applauded PennDOT for the new truck ban and calls SR 160 “a potential death trap.”

Police say that truckers often take SR 160 in order to avoid the ever-increasing tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and in order to avoid of the Maryland State Police weigh station on I-68.