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Stuck truck jams Waynesboro traffic

September 15, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- A tractor-trailer hauling a 200,000-pound generator became stuck in Waynesboro's Center Square at noon Tuesday as the truck driver tried to turn onto Pa. 977 North.

Fire police closed Main Street (Pa. 16) from Potomac Street to Clayton Avenue until almost 3:45 p.m., and school buses were diverted around the incident.

Hamner's Garage of Waynesboro used a tow truck to help move the big rig, which was unable to travel backward on its own. A chain made from metal links approximately 3/4-inch thick snapped in the process.

Waynesboro Police Chief Mark King said the truck driver had a permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. It outlined the route from West Main Street onto Pa. 997.

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"If we had permitted it to go that way, it should've been able to do so," PennDOT spokesman Michael Crochunis said. He added that PennDOT officials likely reviewed information about the oversized load and worked with the haulers to plan a route.

One portion of the load sliced into the asphalt in the northwest quadrant of the square. The tires cut ruts into the pavement initially and then again as the tow truck pulled the rig backward and sideways.

Once the tractor-trailer was freed at 3 p.m., the driver maneuvered it south into the parking area in front of Frank's Pizza and made the turn he originally intended to make. The tractor-trailer had an Indiana license plate.

A man driving an escort vehicle said the generator for a windmill was headed to northern Pennsylvania near Mansfield University.

Construction crews working in Center Square continued to tamp stone and haul materials during the incident. The square is in the midst of a major overhaul, which includes new stormwater lines, reconfiguration of traffic signals and brick sidewalks.

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