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Muddy shoulders cause spate of truck accidents on I-90 in NE Ohio

Here's a bit of irony that has recently been manifest on Interstate 90 in the most northeastern corner of the state near Pennsylvania: A highway repair project geared toward increasing traffic safety has quite directly led to a spate of truck accidents.

In fact, more than half a dozen truck crashes occurred near Conneaut earlier this month following dangerous conditions present in the wake of construction work.

What has been a major contributor in the multiple crashes are highway shoulders that have been rendered unstable -- slippery, muddy and soft -- in the aftermath of repair work. Spokespersons for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) say that truckers veering sideways and losing even a slight bit of pavement traction slip into soft soil, which has resulted in many of them temporarily losing control or rolling over.

The accidents have busily engaged safety and cleanup crews, as well as inconvenienced motorists. Stretches of freeway were closed following several of the crashes, with, in one case, more than six miles of road being shut down after two accidents occurred within mere minutes of each other. Firefighters and the state's Environmental Protection Agency were summoned to the scene of one crash following development of a fuel leak.

The accidents affected drivers in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, as ODOT officials installed warning signs and electronic messages calling for caution among border-crossing motorists.

Luckily, there were no fatalities or serious injuries reported in any of the crashes.

Source: Star Beacon, "Rash of truck crashes prompt warning signs along I-90," Mark Todd, Feb. 12, 2013

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