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Rostraver contruction zone re-examined after accidents

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:20 p.m
vii70111914
Jim Ference | Trib Total Media
Route I-70 construction in Rostraver Township, on Tuesday, October 14, 2014.

Three recent accidents in a Rostraver construction zone have PennDOT officials re-evaluating an area already compromised by a support wall failure last month.

Speed was allegedly involved in all three accidents, with the drivers cited in each case.

Three single-car accidents were reported at the same S-curve in the construction zone at milepost 43.8 on Interstate 70. The site is two-tenths of a mile from the Arnold City exit. All three drivers were traveling westbound on I-70.

The first accident occurred at 4:33 a.m. Sunday when Emily L. Prevenslik, 28, of Youngwood, struck concrete barriers on both sides of the road, breaking one. She was not injured, but her car was disabled.

About two hours later, Roy S. Martin, 73, of Saltsburg, also struck the concrete barrier on the right side and bounded off the left-side barrier. He also was uninjured, but his car was disabled.

At 2:05 a.m. Monday, Brett J. Keefer, 23, of Washington struck the right concrete barrier and ricocheted off the left side barrier.

PennDOT District 12 Assistant District Engineer for Construction Bill Kovach sent an email Tuesday morning asking his Uniontown office to look into the accidents and ensure the construction zone is safe.

The message was sent to the district traffic unit, the traffic engineer and the district executive for construction as well as project managers on site.

Kovach directed that the S-curve be evaluated and that the construction zone speed limit be reinforced.

“We have a lot of eyes looking at it,” said PennDOT District 12 spokeswoman Valerie Petersen. “They are working to get that situation evaluated as soon as possible.”

Petersen noted that the speed limit for the zone is 35 miles per hour. The fine is doubled for speeding violations in a construction zone, Petersen noted.

Beech Construction is involved in an $8.6 million project to replace a bridge that carries I-70 over a Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad track. Crews are currently working double shifts, when possible, to advance the project, which had a completion date of late May 2015.

That date may have been jeopardized after a support wall failure in the westbound lanes of I-70 last month. Both lanes were closed for several hours.

The road has since been reopened to one lane in each direction, on the eastbound side. PennDOT officials are working on a plan for repairing the wall support, Petersen said.

“We want it to be done correctly,” Petersen said. “We want it to be done safely.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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