Nov. 9 – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is trying to figure out why there are frequent truck crashes on the Schuylkill Expressway near the 28th Street curve in South Philadelphia.
Last week, for the third time in less than three months, a tractor-trailer crashed and spilled its cargo at the curve. The truck, carrying sacks of lime on a flatbed trailer, struck the concrete shoulder barrier, jackknifed and dumped lime sacks along hundreds of feet of the highway, closing the road for nearly eight hours.
PennDOT officials say speeding and traffic patterns that cause drivers to swerve or brake suddenly may contribute to the high number of both truck and auto accidents at the site. The highway abruptly widens and narrows in both directions, exit and entrance ramps are frequent and sometimes inadequate, and drivers must constantly swerve to avoid other vehicles. The posted speed limit is 50 mph, and the gentle curve has no special warning signs.
Crews are working on painting new lane stripes to help traffic merge on the long entrance ramp from 34th Street Traffic engineers also want to study the possibility of closing the “slip ramps” at 28th Street and at Vare Avenue These ramps don’t have the long merge lanes typically used on interstate-grade highways.