Stern urged Route 453 to be checked for safety

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has recently delineated and installed additional directional signs along a stretch of Route 453, including a curve where a Tyrone teenager recently lost his life. State Representative Jerry Stern (R-80th District) contacted District 9-0 District Engineer Earl Neiderhiser in mid-June requesting his office review the roadway. According to PennDOT representatives, a review was initially completed earlier in the year and since Stern’s prompting, the road has been looked at again with more signs warning motorists of the twisting road to be placed by summer’s end.
“Recently I was made aware of a section of highway north of Tyrone that has seen numerous serious accidents, including some serious fatalities over the years,” Stern’s letter states. “I believe it would be in the best interest of everyone who travels this road to have PennDOT do a survey of road markers to be sure the road is as safe as possible under its current conditions.” Stern also notes, in his letter, that speed seemed to play a role in some accidents and a review of the posted limits also occur.
According to PennDOT District Traffic Engineer Roger Dodson, a review of the road, north of Tyrone in Snyder Township, was completed in April and at that time additional signs were ordered. Plans to delineate various curves along the winding, mountain road, commonly referred to as the Janesville Pike, were also made at that time.
“We did a review of the old roadway signs,” Dodson said. “We routinely check for signs that need replaced, correct any signs that are askew and look to replace any signs that are dull, or dingy.”
Delineation is the technical term for placing reflectors at varying distances in relation to the sharpness of the turn. Reflectors are generally spaced at large intervals on straight stretches and are closer together through turns.
Randy Estright, a Tyrone High School student, was killed May 26 of this year when he failed to negotiate his pickup truck through a sharp turn and struck a tree while descending the Janesville Pike. The curve now has two new, large directional signs that are visible from the north and south bound lanes.
“It’s unfortunate that the accident occured before the signs arrived to be placed,” Dodson noted, adding that more road signs are expected to be placed along the route in August. These will include additional directional signs as well as updated speed advisory signs, the signs that accompany the triangular curve signs which indicate the apprpriate speed for a particular turn.