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Old 07-26-2011, 11:26 PM
 
735 posts, read 596,943 times
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I wonder if you can contact PennDot to see if they have logs, etc. showing whether the ramp was "officially" open or not. Is it possible that the construction crew that would have been working on the ramp and directing people around hazards were called away from their posts to assist with the wreck?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Greensburg, PA
1,104 posts, read 1,530,284 times
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Kippy, that may be a possibility regarding a log of the night but I didn't see any construction workers working around there whatsoever or any such workers assisting with either wreck... there were one or two ambulances on the scene and a North Fayette cop as well as the victims and both drivers (one of which was taken away by ambulance) but other than that, I didn't see any PennDOT or contractor-related vehicles down there plus no sign of any workers on site. That may be different further up the road, although once I did get out of the "ditch," I quickly left the scene and didn't care to notice if there were any construction workers around. The contractor guy that did assist me on the other hand wasn't clothed in any construction work gear, he was dressed casually and just happened to be driving by when the wreck occurred. I should also throw in that it was storming just a few hours prior and maybe, just maybe, the crew delayed work just for that night because of weather conditions.

Furthermore, this actually happened prior to the Imperial exit going eastbound, it even says so on both of the citations. This only strengthens my story that I had attempted to get off that exit to get to a gas station but that I misinterpreted the "Ramp is Open" sign and drove into the opening thinking it was that exit. Speaking of which, could the sign have been marked for the construction crew only?

Last edited by neurodistortion; 07-26-2011 at 11:56 PM..
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
968 posts, read 724,812 times
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Why not contact the media? The local news outlets love things like this, so I'm sure someone would pick up the story. A little media attention to situations like this is always a good way of "lighting a fire." If I were you, I would.

Also, try contacting the District 11 office of PennDOT. At least you could probably get some factual information off of them to use in your defense to sort of "build your case" about the situation. I had an incident on the Fort Pitt Bridge last year and I knew I was not in the wrong. I called District 11 and got all the factual information, built my case, and the other involved party did not stand a chance after I got my information direct from the source.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:53 AM
 
865 posts, read 388,898 times
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Traffic on 22 has been horrendous since the Pavilion was built. Locals avoid it by staying on Steubenville Pike. It basically runs parallel to 22, and yes it's a 2-lane country road, but you will avoid sitting in the traffic. Heading east, once you get to Tonidale, the road merges with 22 right at the entrance ramp to the Parkway. There are gas stations along the way, too.
Don't tell anyone I told you this.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
3,134 posts, read 5,762,537 times
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I'm not educated enough to read all of that, but I thank you for using paragraphs.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Greensburg, PA
1,104 posts, read 1,530,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngabe View Post
Why not contact the media? The local news outlets love things like this, so I'm sure someone would pick up the story. A little media attention to situations like this is always a good way of "lighting a fire." If I were you, I would.

Also, try contacting the District 11 office of PennDOT. At least you could probably get some factual information off of them to use in your defense to sort of "build your case" about the situation. I had an incident on the Fort Pitt Bridge last year and I knew I was not in the wrong. I called District 11 and got all the factual information, built my case, and the other involved party did not stand a chance after I got my information direct from the source.
I called the District 11 office and got transferred to a few different people. I guess the guy I'm supposed to speak to (Rick Colaizzi was his name) wasn't in the office at the time I tried calling him (around 3:30 pm) so I'll try calling back tomorrow. I also asked a guy for a log of events on the night the incident occurred and he was like which log? So I guess there is a specific log I'm supposed to request, but which one is it? Will a particular log state how the configuration of the construction zone at the Imperial exit was laid out down to the last detail or is it just a rundown of things? I just hope I don't get the runaround calling these people because it seems to be the case with these state agencies who could really care less about what I have to say.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: About 10 miles north of Pittsburgh International
2,149 posts, read 2,047,250 times
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For more than you'd ever want to know about how that construction area should be marked:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/PubsForms/Publications/PUB%20213.pdf (broken link)

and:

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/part6.pdf

Good luck wading through them.

If the construction area wasn't in accordance with those publications, you might be able to make your case in court. If it was, I think you're out of luck.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:24 PM
 
735 posts, read 596,943 times
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PennDOT District 11-0 Roadwork Construction

There is some limited information about the project in question. I don't see any mention of the ramp being closed to traffic. However, there is a contact number listed for the project manager whom you mentioned. In addition, there is a contact number for the assistance construction engineer.

Be careful about how you go about looking for information. Nobody wants to admit fault or open themselves up to liability. Be sure to mention that there is no damage to your vehicle, etc. I would also remind them about the storm, as it could have compromised any temporary patch that they put in place, and it is easy to blame things on the rain.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Greensburg, PA
1,104 posts, read 1,530,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchdigger View Post
For more than you'd ever want to know about how that construction area should be marked:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/PubsForms/Publications/PUB%20213.pdf (broken link)

and:

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/part6.pdf

Good luck wading through them.

If the construction area wasn't in accordance with those publications, you might be able to make your case in court. If it was, I think you're out of luck.
So I looked and studied the diagrams for not even an hour and already came to a few conclusions:

There was no shadow vehicle with flashing lights located prior to the work zone or "ditch" during the night of the incident which is REQUIRED on all freeway and expressway construction when workers are present. Of course, there were no workers present. The only thing that was blocking the "ditch" was one channelizing device which was hardly visible due to the lack of lighting in that stretch and when I finally saw it, I had already gotten stuck in the "ditch." The officer present should be able to verify my claim since he saw it with his own eyes.

Therefore, since there were no workers present and no shadow vehicle stationed, there should've been channeling devices blocking the opening into the shoulder/work zone itself as shown in various long-term diagrams that ditchdigger had linked. There were no such devices blocking the zone. This in addition to the lack of shadow vehicle made the appearance of an exit especially considering the "Ramp is Open" signage which was posted just prior to me entering the opening.

Could there have been a shadow vehicle present earlier in the construction process but it was moved and the crew simply overlooked blocking the opening into the shoulder? Apparently, the weather was downpouring with lightning and thunder a few hours prior but even then, would that have been enough to overlook such a simple issue? Even then, two cop cars were able to get through this opening without any issue and I was able to back out of there without any issues or risk of hitting something because there was nothing blocking the way.

These points may suggest negligence on PennDOT and Golden Triangle Construction Company's part, there might be other factors but those two are the ones that stick out to me.

Last edited by neurodistortion; 07-28-2011 at 12:22 AM..
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