CRANBERRY TWP — Route 228 opened back up to drivers at 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, ending a nearly-48 hour ordeal that had utility crews working around the clock to repair damage left in the wake of strong storms and winds Tuesday night.
This morning was the first time rush hour traffic flowed through the Route 228 and Interstate 79 ramps intersection in two days.
For those officials most-involved in coordinating the logistics of the cleanup effort, the reopening of the county’s busiest corridor comes with a big sigh of relief and the hope of extended sleep.
Township police officer Kevin Meyer said his department has been deeply involved in coordinating the cleanup along with several utility companies and PennDOT.
It’s been a long couple days, he said.
“This ranks right up there with the biggest,” Meyer said about the biggest incidents he’s seen in his career. “I never thought I’d see the day when Route 228 was shut down for two days in a row.”
First Energy spokesman Chris Eck said that the cleanup effort include more than 100 people from 40 to 50 different work crews.
“It was a quite large, quite quick and quite successful effort given the amount of damage,” Eck said.
The storm that caused the nine utility poles to come down was highly unusual, he said.
“It is very unusual to have a weather event like that. It was a very isolated very, very severe event. You can’t make your infrastructure weatherproof for something like that,” he said.