Cautious Travel Urged Even After I-80 Re-Opened

HARRISBURG – At about 10:30 p.m., Gov. Edward G. Rendell announced that Interstate 80 in Clearfield County re-opened in both directions.

The roadway had been closed between exits 111 and 120 from about 5:30 p.m. due to hazardous winter weather.

The governor noted that the weather system produced whiteout conditions on I-80 and a flash freeze. Because of the road conditions, several vehicles became unable to move. Also, several minor accidents and at least one tractor trailer jack-knifed, forcing the closure.

Drivers were detoured through Clearfield Borough and DuBois during the closure.

“PennDOT, PA Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and local emergency responders worked in unison to reopen Interstate 80 as quickly as possible,” said Rendell. “Given the extreme weather conditions that included whiteouts, high winds and rapidly falling temperatures, I am proud of the coordinated efforts by state and local government.

“I urge motorists to drive with extreme caution because although the interstate has reopened, weather forecasts are calling for winter weather conditions including drifting snow to continue overnight,” Rendell said.

The I-80 closure came a little more than one week after a Valentine’s Day storm caused motorists to be stranded on several highways. Officials with the state Department of Transportation have said that poor planning and execution on PennDOT’s part began the inadequate response last week.

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