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Route 222 sees increase in work zone crashes

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. – “Pay attention and slow down when approaching the work zone.” That’s the message from PennDOT to drivers after a...
LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. - "Pay attention and slow down when approaching the work zone."

That's the message from PennDOT to drivers after a Monday's deadly crash on Route 222 in Lancaster County

Since April, FOX43 has reported at least 4 crashes on that stretch of highway near Ephrata.

"It's a very busy stretch," Michael Crochunis, a PennDOT spokesperson said. "And it's high speeds as well on a regular day."

Since last year, crews have been working on repairing the bridges over Route 222. Most of the work had been in the evening, but the recent work has traffic restrictions in place around the clock.

"If these bridges were on 3 thousand vehicles traveled daily bridges they'd be closed for this construction work," Crochunis said. "So it's not like this is construction work that we can conduct during the evening hours and then have a lane open for the day time it just simply isn't possible."

FOX43 has reported on at least 4 different crashes since April alone. One person has been killed and at least two others were hurt. Crochunis said there have been even more fender benders. FOX43 asked if these crashes could've been avoidable.

"I don't know," Crochunis said. "I don't know how. There's no perfect answer there."

He said there are plenty of things drivers should do, if they enter work zones.

"Headlights on, be visible, be vigilant and slow down when you're driving through work zones," Crochunis said.

Crochunis also said PennDOT has added extra 55 mile per hour speed limit signs in that area to give drivers a heads up. Right now the left shoulder and left lane of 222 are closed for the bridge construction. Work in the southbound lanes should be done in mid-August. After that they'll begin work in the northbound lanes.