Eastbound traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike was detoured at Breezewood for several hours this morning after a truck caught fire.
Spokesman Carl DeFebo said the truck was believed to be carrying old tires. A fire in the truck's undercarriage spread to the tires after the driver pulled to the shoulder. Heavy smoke and fire caused closure of the turnpike about an hour after the fire erupted at 2 a.m., he said.
Eastbound traffic was required to exit and follow a detour along Interstate 70 and Interstate 81 and U.S. 11, a distance of more than 100 miles, to return to the turnpike at Carlisle. Turnpike officials reopened the toll road at about 10 a.m.
Mr. DeFebo said the long detour route was used because turnpike officials, state police and PennDOT, citing safety concerns, didn't want to put heavy traffic on winding, hilly roads like U.S. Route 30. For that reason, the detour from Breezewood follows interstate highways, he said.
The turnpike offers a hands-free mobile app called TripTalk that alerts travelers to closures and other incidents on the road ahead of them. More information is available at paturnpike.com.
A weather advisory remained in effect on the turnpike from the Ohio line to mile marker 201.3 this morning.
Jon Schmitz: email@example.com or 412-263-1868.