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Alle-Kiski Valley weather news: PennDOT salt truck strikes bridge, 3-plus inches of snow

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 12:51 p.m.
Valley News Dispatch
PennDOT officials look over a dump truck whose bed hit the Springdale/Cheswick exit overpass on Route 28 northbound during a snow storm on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch
New Kensington-Arnold School District maintanance worker Dave Casterline shovels the footbridge over Little Pucketa Creek at Valley High School to make the walkway safe for students walking to their buses at the New Kensington school on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch
A woman opts for the center of a snow-covered 18th Street in Arnold rather than walking on the unshoveled sidewalks during a snow storm on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
George Laris, co-owner of the Cheswick Shopping Center, takes a short break from plowing the parking lot on his 4-wheeler to do a few doughnuts in the parking lot on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch
A man walks along the railroad tracks near Constitution Boulevard in Arnold on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch

A little bit of snow in the region caused a lot of headaches on Friday.

The 3 to 4 inches of snow that fell caused havoc on roadways, with lengthy traffic jams that lasted for hours and scores of skidding accidents reported.

There were 3.5 inches on the ground at the Allegheny River Lock and Dam No. 4 in Harrison as of 6 p.m., according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Adding to the problem of driving across the slick coating of snow that fell on already frozen road surfaces was the additional traffic created when businesses and schools let out early during the storm.

“The snowfall we had is very typical for this time of year,” said meteorologist Brad Rehak of the National Weather Service in Moon Township. “But almost all of it fell between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, which is about the worst time and day for that to happen.”

An additional “dusting” of snow was expected overnight, with up to 1 inch more possible north of Pittsburgh, Rehak said.

A PennDOT salt truck sustained severe damage Friday afternoon when its raised bed struck an overpass on Route 28 in Harmar.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said the truck driver had raised the bed to empty it while northbound on Route 28. When the truck passed under the Hite Road bridge at the Cheswick-Springdale exit (Exit 12), it hit the structure.

Cowan said the bridge was not damaged and the unidentified driver was not injured.

Route 28 southbound was restricted to one lane for a time between the Harmar and RIDC exits due to slippery conditions and several accidents, according to state police.

Route 28 was closed in Armstrong County between Troy Hill Road in Rayburn Township and Ridge Road in Boggs Township due to a jackknifed tractor-trailer truck about 2:30 p.m. The road reopened about 4:30 p.m.

Nearly all school districts and all three area community colleges canceled Friday evening activities.

The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Region One concert set for Friday night at Deer Lakes High School was canceled. It will not be rescheduled.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Chizmar characterized the snow as a “widespread storm, impacting the entire state” and said the transportation agency had 2,200 trucks available to fight the weather, adding that salt and anti-skid material were in good supply.

T ony LaRussa and Bill Vidonic are staff writers for Trib Total Media. LaRussa can be reached at 412-320-7987 or tlarussa@tribweb.com. Vidonic can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com. The Valley News Dispatch staff contributed to this report.

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