CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – After two days of repairs, officials say they will have Route 228 in Cranberry Township back open by midnight for the first time since Tuesday night’s storms.
Crews have been working day and night to replace several utility poles that blew over during the storms, but they ran into some issues.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
Crews made progress on Wednesday and Thursday, but not enough to get it back open for the evening rush. That meant more detours for drivers in the Cranberry area.
Last night, new utility poles were installed. This morning though, wires continued to dangle over the usually busy road.
The focus was a massive Consolidated Communication line. It weighs about 25-pounds-per-foot and crews need to raise roughly 1,000 feet.
Earlier today, crews spliced the line. It was a tedious process that involved dealing with each of the phone, cable and Internet lines inside, one at a time.
“Every individual one of those little telephone lines basically had to be spliced together, similar to tying a fishing fly. So, if you can imagine how small that would be, that’s what they were working with at 2 a.m.,” Cranberry Township Police Sgt. Chuck Mascellino said.
The repairs took longer than expected.
“There were some complications initially with materials. Primarily, the telephone poles because of the size of them to obtain them here. And then, just the length of the cleanup. They had to cycle in crews for rest,” Sgt. Mascellino said.
From west to east, they lifted each cable and attaching it to a pole, pulling them taunt before moving onto the next pole. It’s work that couldn’t be rushed, and the largest two lines were draped across the width of 228.
“Once the communications cables go up, we’ll probably open in phases – probably westbound first and then leave one lane closed and open the eastbound lanes,” said Bob Skrak, PennDOT’s Butler County manager.
KDKA’s Trina Orlando Reports:
In the meantime, 228 was a quiet road much to the chagrin of the businesses east of I-79.
“It’s had a pretty strong impact on our business; it’s pretty slow. You can’t access us at all unless you go way up the highway,” said Lindsay Montgomery, of Noodles & Co.
For now, Route 228 remains closed in both directions. The on and off-ramps to Interstate 79 are also closed.
Public Safety officials are urging drivers using the road to exercise patience.
Cranberry Township officials say disrupted communication services have been restored.
They expect to have the road back up and running by midnight; however, one eastbound lane restriction will remain in place while Penn Power continues to finish repairs.
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