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Heavy trucks banned from Schoharie limo crash intersection approach in 2015

Heavy trucks banned from Schoharie limo crash intersection approach in 2015

The intersection was redone five years earlier
Heavy trucks banned from Schoharie limo crash intersection approach in 2015
The Route 30 approach
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Schoharie Icon_0.jpg

The intersection of state routes 30 and 30A has a reputation for being dangerous, as Route 30 comes down a long hill to a T-intersection controlled by a stop sign.

The limousine went through that intersection without stopping and hit a car in the parking lot of the Apple Barrel country store Saturday.

"I'm not an engineer, but I can tell you, coming down that hill even in regular car or my pickup truck, you have to pump your brakes," said state Assemblyman Christopher Tague, R-Schoharie. "If you're not someone familiar with that road, that stop comes up quick."

The intersection of routes 30 and 30A was reconstructed by the state Department of Transportation in 2010 to "improve safety and address geometric and operational deficiencies," according to a DOT press release at the time. Previously, Route 30 met Route 30A at an angle.

In 2013, based on concerns about heavy trucks coming down the Route 30 hill, DOT imposed an 18-ton weight restriction on that section of road; in January 2015, the limit was lowered to 5 tons; and in December 2015, trucks were banned entirely.

DOT traffic counts show Route 30A, which has the Schoharie exit for Interstate-88, is by far the busier road. Traffic counts from 2015 show that Route 30A is used by 6,219 vehicles per pay on average, while Route 30 is used by only 1,165 vehicles.

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Tague, a former Schoharie town supervisor, said he knows there have been other incidents, including at least two since the reconstruction, when tractor-trailers have gone through the intersection after coming down the hill.

"Usually, if something happens more than  a couple of times, there's a problem," Tague said.

Tague, who attended a Monday morning briefing at the Schoharie County Sheriff's Department with U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, and state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, said the legislators hope to see improvements, though they will wait until the state police and NTSB conclude their investigations.

"We want to make sure we do anything we can to make sure something like this never happens again," Tague said

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