Join Date: May 2003
Location: Canonsburg, PA USA 15317
Veterans Bridge ramps get new speed warnings
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
By Lillian Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Crews were out today installing a speed minder and refreshing pavement markings on a ramp that has been the scene of two recent motorcycle accidents that sent riders over the Veterans Bridge barricade and onto the pavement of Route 28 below.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is trying to increase the visibility of warnings about the 30 mph speed limit while it studies a long-term solution to the accident-prone ramps, said Todd Kravits, District 11 traffic engineer. Today, a speed minder (an electronic device that posts the speed limit and flashes the speed of each passing motorist)was installed on the outbound ramp. Tomorrow, another will be installed on the inbound (Route 28 to Veterans Bridge) ramp, Kravits said.
A Shaler man who was thrown more than 120 feet from the Veterans Bridge in a motorcycle accident yesterday afternoon was listed in critical condition at Allegheny General Hospital. Mark Purcell, 19, suffered two broken legs and head injuries.
Pittsburgh police Sgt. Joseph Gannon said the motorcycle was traveling northbound on the bridge shortly after 4 p.m. when the operator struck a lamp post and was thrown over a barricade, landing on Route 28.
Last month, Edward Campbell, 26, of Penn Hills, was killed when he lost control on the climbing, curving ramp that leads from southbound Route 28 to the Veterans Bridge.
Police said Campbell's motorcycle hit the barrier along the ramp deck and Campbell flew off the bike and over the edge of the roadway, hitting a railroad bridge support before landing on the concrete barrier beside General Robinson Street.
In 2000, Edward Short, 35, of Greenfield, died when he lost control of his motorcycle on the ramp from southbound Route 28. Police said he was thrown off the bike and fell 100 feet to the pavement on East Ohio Street.
Kravits said there have been a half dozen motorcycle accidents on the ramps since the section opened in 1989. Traffic reconstruction reports are not available for the latest two accidents, but on all the others, Kravits said, the motorcycles were reported to have been traveling over the speed limit, at "high rates of speed."
PennDOT does not plan to rebuild the ramps, he said, because a 30 mph speed limit is appropriate for a ramp of that type. However, he said, engineers are studying ways to make it safer. In addition to more warnings to drivers, there could be modifications in the barriers and other changes, he said.
In the meantime, all the pavement markings, curve warnings, and reflectors will be "refreshed," he said.
Complicity? Simplexity? Its simply too complicated for me.