Traffic headaches await commuters in the days ahead

Written by Marie Cusick | May 10, 2013 3:43 AM

(Harrisburg) --Midstate commuters can expect delays throughout the weekend, and beyond, as clean-up continues after a major tanker truck fire destroyed portions of a three-layer highway interchange outside Harrisburg.

The accident happened just after 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning in Susquehanna Township and snarled traffic all day, but the commuting headaches may be felt for several months.

A tanker truck carrying 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel overturned and caught fire, severely damaging portions of a 22/322 Westbound bridge span over I-81.

At one point, the heat was so intense, the concrete began exploding.
PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch says I-81 Northbound will remain closed until at least Monday, and the bridge span of Route 22/322 above where the accident occurred have to be replaced, which may take months.

“This is a very complex problem, and the reason I can’t give you a time frame on the removal of the overhead span- it is one of the most complex type bridges we could have,"  he says.

Drivers are asked to allow extra time and take alternate routes.
Turnpike tolls have been temporarily lifted between the Harrisburg East Interchange and the Carlisle Interchange. Drivers will also be detoured onto route 581.

Follow our coverage of the I-81 tanker fire here.

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