Pa. Turnpike reopens after downed power lines repaired

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Downed wires forced the closure of the Pa. Turnpike on Friday. (WPVI)

Traffic has reopened in both directions on the Pennsylvania Turnpike after downed power lines shut down the highway for several hours Friday afternoon.

Both eastbound and westbound directions of the highway (I-276) were shut down between the Delaware Valley and Bensalem interchanges in Bristol Township.

It all started earlier in the day after a dump truck driver accidentally left the bed up and began to drive. The bed of the truck ripped down the power lines and snapped a utility pole in three places.

The lines then fell on the road.

Crews worked to install a new electrical pole and raise the power lines.

The westbound side of the turnpike was shut down immediately. The eastbound side was shut down about two hours later as the cleanup work continued.

Action News caught up with a man who was missing his father's funeral because of the shutdown.

"We are leaving West Chester Pennsylvania, trying to go to West Chester, New York for my father's funeral," said Tom Kowalski.

We met up with Kowalski and his family at the Delaware Valley Interchange. They were scrambling to find a way around the Turnpike portion that was closed.

At that point he was pretty upset.

"We'll never make it," said Kowalski.

Kowalski says a lack of a proper detour route from the Turnpike Commission compounded the set back.

"It told us to get off, come down this road, come up Route 13, get back on going east. We get to east and and we can't get back on," he said.

But he's not the only one who says that.

"We were coming south and there was all signs for alternate routes but it didn't say where you were going to get off," said Joe Helene.

The Turnpike earlier said that motorists could get back on the highway at the Delaware Valley interchange, but that was actually closed. That interchange has since reopened.
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trafficBristol Township
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