Tanker fire in PA will cost millions, turnpike offers free detour

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 5/10/2013

Interstate 81 travelers in Pennsylvania will find the highway closed in both directions over the weekend at Route 22/322 in Harrisburg, as the result of a tanker fire that occurred on a ramp Thursday morning, May 9. Officials are hoping to reopen the interstate on Monday.

The Pennsylvania State Police said a fully loaded tanker overturned on the ramp from northbound I-81 onto westbound Route 22/322 at 6:10 a.m., Thursday.

Trooper Rob Hicks told Land Line that investigators and a crash reconstruction team were working Friday to determine why the tanker driven by Thomas Uecker, 52, of Dover, PA, and registered to Tameric Enterprises LLC out of Carlisle, PA, might have overturned.

Uecker escaped without injury.

Early estimates put the damage at $10 million to fix the ramp, bridge and roadway, according to news sources in Harrisburg.

To keep traffic moving, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has offered a free detour around the damage, but only for vehicles that enter and exit at Harrisburg East at Exit 247 and Carlisle Exit 226.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says vehicles will be charged tolls if they enter or exit at any other interchange.

A waiver for a cash toll requires a driver to pick up a toll ticket and surrender it to the collector.

“You must present a ticket at exit for the toll to be waived,” a commission news release stated. E-ZPass tolls are being waived electronically.

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