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Route 322 Reopens After Tractor-Trailer Fire, No Injuries Reported

by and on February 10, 2015 4:12 PM

Update, Feb 11, 4:30 a.m.


 

PennDOT released a statement at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday announcing that Route 322 has been reopened in both directions. The heavily-traveled highway had been closed for more than 13 hours due to a truck fire.

Feb. 10, 8:30 p.m.

 


 

Route 322 is still closed in the aftermath of an intense tractor-trailer fire, and may be closed as late as 11 p.m.

Kenny Strouse with the Centre Hall Fire Company says the fire has been contained, but the blaze took "extra long" to subdue. The tractor trailer was carrying cardboard boxes of food and wooden pallets, which where "burning extensively." The driver of the truck was not injured.

The road has been closed since shortly after 3:00 p.m., when PennDOT and area fire companies first responded to the fire. Early estimations projected the road opening early this evening, but a PennDOT news release now estimates the road opening at 11 p.m..

PennDOT spokesperson Marla Fannin says the roadway may have been damaged by the blaze, as "roadway damage in a fire situation is not uncommon." Crews must also unload the remains of the truck's cargo before removing the truck, which has lengthened the closure.

Fannin says the two lane section of Route 322 is currently closed from the junction of Route 144 to the point where 322 opens into four lanes entering Mifflin County southeast of State College.

Feb. 10, 4:15 p.m.


 

Traffic is currently backed up more than two miles on Route 322 near Potters Mills due to a tractor-trailer fire.

PennDOT spokesperson Marla Fannin says the state transportation agency first learned of the problem shortly after 3:00 on Tuesday afternoon. She confirms that a tractor-trailer is on fire, but says that a cause has not yet been determined.

She says the two lane section of Route 322 is currently closed from the junction of Route 144 to the point where 322 opens into four lanes entering Mifflin County southeast of State College.

“It could be some time before we get the fire completely out, and we can’t move the truck off the road until the fire is completely contained,” Fannin says. “Right now the estimated time to have the road reopened that’s been reported to us is 5:00 p.m., but that seems extremely optimistic.”

Representatives from the Centre Hall Fire Company confirm that they are on scene and expect the road to be closed for several hours, but could not offer further details. Pennsylvania State Police have also responded, but were not yet able to provide details. 

Representatives from Alpha Fire Company say they were contacted about the incident, but the call was cancelled because the Boalsburg, Centre Hall and Pleasant Gap fire companies were already responding.

Fannin says the location of the fire severely limits their options to open a detour, as any alternate route would take drivers “way out of the way.” She urges anyone with plans to travel on Route 322 to take an alternate route.

“The best thing we can do right now is try to keep people from approaching the area while we try to handle the backlog,” Fannin says.

 

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.


Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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