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Penndot Looking To Fix Schuylkill Expwy. Easements, Overtaxed By Latest Rains

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(File photo of Schuylkill Expressway by Paul Gluck)

(File photo of Schuylkill Expressway by Paul Gluck)

Mark Abrams Mark Abrams
Mark Abrams is a versatile part of the KYW Newsradio family, serving...
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By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says it is looking into why thousands of drivers were caught up in two major areas of flooding along the Schuylkill Expressway on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Penndot says it wants to prevent it from happening again.
Penndot spokesman Gene Blaum says crews were just as frustrated as stranded motorists as they cleared mud and debris from clogged drainage points on the eastbound Schuylkill, at the Belmont exit, and then further down the highway, at Girard Avenue.

He says crews were out before the rain started to clear drainage inlets, but the storm overtaxed the system, especially at the Girard Avenue exit, where a torrent of water and some two tons of mud fell from an embankment on the side of the highway onto the road.

“We’re going to do an examination of the entire drainage system in this area, and we’re also going to take a very close look at that embankment because with the erosion that’s occurred, we can do some seeding and some plant establishment on that embankment to make it more firm and hold together, especially during a major rain event,” Blaum told KYW Newsradio.

He says a year ago, crews erected stone walls and took other measures to protect the drainage inlets at the expressway’s Girard Avenue exit.  He says engineers will now be looking to see what else needs to be done to prevent a repeat of Wednesday’s hours long traffic jams.

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