PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Construction has started on the Parkway West, but not without some problems.
Craig Conn was on his way to work Tuesday morning when a construction sign fell onto the Parkway.
“Around 4:50 in the morning, I was merging on the Parkway and into a new construction zone and a construction sign fell off the center beam,” Conn said. “I couldn’t avoid hitting it, and it smashed into my car.”
Conn was driving his brand new Hyundai Elantra. He said it is only three weeks old.
“It hit my driver’s side wheel and blew out my tire. I didn’t lose control, lucky enough, but it was un-driveable and I had to pull off right away,” he said.
State police responded to the crash. They said they had two non-reportable crashes on the Parkway West outbound near the I-79 interchange. Both cars blew their tires after hitting the sign.
PennDOT says the sign was secure. A truck traveling in the inbound lane struck the sign, causing it to fly into opposing traffic.
“Last year in Pennsylvania, there were over 1,800 workzone crashes which resulted in 16 deaths,” PennDOT District 11 Safety Press Officer Juliann Sheldon said.
Sheldon says it’s important to be cognizant when you’re driving through a workzone. She says it’s extremely important to turn your headlights on, watch your speed and not to follow too closely.
However, it can be wrong place, wrong time.
“It was unavoidable. There’s no way anyone could have missed it,” Conn said.
Other drivers also had a difficult time maneuvering the tiny lanes — especially for drivers stuck next to large vehicles, like and 18-wheeler.
And PennDOT says the discomfort factor will get worse next week when they put up a temporary barrier along the shoulder.
After a snarl of traffic around the Carnegie entrance ramp merge points, and some fender benders, PennDOT says they’ll likely close those entrance ramps to improve the mainline flow.
You May Also Be Interested In These Latest News Stories
More Reports by Amy Wadas
Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter