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Renaming Leetsdale ramp could get truckers back on track

Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Motorists travel along the recently-named Kost Ramp that connects Route 65 to Broad Street in Leetsdale Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. Before the overpass was built, Kost Street intersected with Route 65. When the overpass opened, PennDOT removed the street, which also removed it from mapping systems and confused some truck drivers who were looking for the Leetsdale Industrial Park to mistakenly use Sewickley's Broad Street instead.

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By Bobby Cherry

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

It has taken nearly six years, but a solution might be near to a mapping quagmire that has caused some truck drivers seeking Leetsdale to get their big rigs stuck in Sewickley.

Since the 2007 opening of the Michele Maruca Overpass in Leetsdale, truckers — through the use of GPS devices — have found Sewickley's Broad Street, which is 2.5 miles from their intended destination in Leetsdale, which also is named Broad Street in mapping programs.

A vote last week by Leetsdale Council will rename the portion of road connecting Route 65 to the overpass to Kost Ramp.

The idea is to make it “less confusing to truck drivers and out-of-towners,” council member Jeffrey Weatherby said.

A sign still notes the existence of Kost Street, but when the overpass opened, PennDOT removed the road from mapping systems and renamed the area Broad Street.

“Kost Street never left,” Councilman Wes James said. “It was always there. The sign's still there.”

Because of the confusion, some truck drivers turned onto Broad Street in Sewickley and sometimes get stuck near Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital or in the business district. Sewickley officials installed signs in 2008 along Route 65 to redirect drivers to Leetsdale.

Leetsdale officials were unsure when the changes would be made to various mapping services.

Leetsdale Council President Joe McGurk said he hopes the solution brings an end to the mapping issues.

“It will be less confusing because of all of this Broad Street discussion,” he said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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