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Fiery crash closes I-81 near Harrisburg

Gov. Tom Corbett issues proclamation of disaster emergency

May 10, 2013

"There couldn’t have been a worse spot for this to occur"

—Barry Schoch

Interstate 81 remained closed after a fiery crash May 9th involving and overturned tanker truck at a ramp where three highways come together.

Massive traffic jams in the Harrisburg have resulted from the closing.

“There couldn’t have been a worse spot for this to occur,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch said Thursday. The condition of I-81 remained unknown Thursday, Schoch said. He said even if it escaped unscathed, traffic would have to be diverted while the overpasses above are taken apart.

Gov. Tom Corbett issued a proclamation of disaster emergency fro the Interstate 81, which state officials said could exceed $10 million.

As part of the proclamation, Corbett ordered $2 million in state funds to be transferred to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, “to be used for disaster-related expenses incurred by various state agencies and departments.” State officials said the proclamation allows the state to seek federal disaster funding.

Completing repairs to the three levels of bridges and ramps between I-81 and two state highways is expected to takes months and cost millions of dollars, The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported.

To alleviate traffic congestion in the Harrisburg area, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has begun waiving tolls between the Harrisburg East and Carlisle interchanges.

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