Mayflies making Ford City roads slick for drivers
It's hard to believe that some Ford City roads are being described as “slick as ice” with temperatures hovering near 90 degrees on Tuesday.
Blame the road hazard on mayflies.
The river-loving bugs made their annual descent en masse and took over Ford City Veterans Bridge on Monday night. And their accumulating carcasses is what is causing the slick roads.
“It's like loose gravel or ice. Cars just slide right across it,” said Ford City fire Chief Scott Gaiser.
Despite their name, mayflies can gather to mate at any time when conditions are right throughout the summer. That happens once a year. After mating, they die.
“It usually lasts pretty much the whole month, once we start seeing them,” Gaiser said.
Tyson Klukan, a member of Ford City Hose Company No. 1, encountered the bugs on Monday night as he drove across Veterans Bridge, which connects Ford City and North Buffalo. The critters' corpses littered the span.
“The whole bridge, deck and sidewalk were covered by mayflies,” Klukan said.
Large sections of the bridge were slick, he said.
Usually, mayflies congregate at the Kittanning Citizens Bridge. But this summer, it's covered by a tarp while PennDOT makes repairs.
“Us and Kittanning really get hit with them,” Gaiser said. “Because they're working on the Kittanning bridge, I don't think it's going to be as bad there.”
Earl “Buzz” Kline of the Kittanning Borough Fire Department said he hasn't seen any of the bothersome bugs.
“To my knowledge, we haven't had any problems this year,” he said. “Maybe everything floated downriver with the high water we're having.”
If that's the case, Ford City is taking the brunt of this year's invasion.
On Tuesday, mayfly remains up to three inches deep were found along either side of the bridge in Ford City.
The bugs that were still alive took shelter on Tuesday under the lights along the bridge.
PennDOT officials hadn't heard of plans to clean up the carnage mayflies left behind. Sometimes Kittanning's fire department is called out to hose off that borough's bridge, Gaiser said.
Randall Brozenick, director of Armstrong County's public safety department, said that in the past the mayflies may have cause an unsuspecting driver or two to crash as they crossed area bridges.
“If you notice a bunch of mayflies on the road, slow down,” he said. “I know the roads have gotten greasy.”
Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, x1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bradys Bend veteran creates Memorial Day tribute to fallen warriors
- Leader Times staffers recognized for journalism excellence by Press Club
- Police boost efforts to aid child victims in Armstrong County
- Kittanning Municipal Authority seeks agreement to clarify its role
- Lenape students earn berth in national SkillsUSA competition
- Police investigating attack on boy near Kittanning Rails to Trails
- Rural Valley students wage ‘war’ to raise money for autism research
- Kittanning business celebrates renovations in its 43rd year
- Armstrong School District officials OK tax hike in preliminary budget
- Ford City Council calls in help to deal with $580K grant default
- Project a modern approach to commemorating Ford City’s past