Truckers concerned about Route 441 bypass

COLUMBIA, Pa. (WHTM) – Michael Venker, a trucker who dropped off a load of copper in Columbia on Tuesday, told ABC 27 News the ramp for the Route 441 bypass looks “daunting.”

The ramp, set to open later this month, is part of a $12 million project designed to keep truck traffic out of the downtown. However, the appearance of a steep ramp may be steep enough to cause concerns.

“If you’re top heavy, an angle like that – you take a risk of flipping your trailer,” Venker said.

As it stands, the ramp will have a five percent grade. According to PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler, the original design called for a steeper eight percent grade.

“Chiques Hill, which is also right there locally, is eight percent,” Schreffler told ABC 27 News.

Schreffler said the ramp will get extra care in the winter to address additional concerns.

“There are concerns about ice and snow building up on the ramp,” she said. “In the winter time, we will take some extra care with things like that, which are above the regular grade of the road.”

Until the ramp is open, Venker and other truckers will have their doubts. He said there’s only one way to deal with a ramp that causes them to hesitate.

“You just clinch your teeth and do your best,” Venker said. “That’s all we can do.”

PennDOT expects the ramp to be open by October 31.

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