Rt 160 Ramp
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"Slow down and gear down to save our town" are the words plastered on signs throughout Wellersburg, a small community in Somerset County. Local officials say trucks have crashed at least 10 times along Route 160, which runs through Wellersburg. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation told us in October it planned to do something to make that stretch of road safer for residents and drivers. "I've been a first responder on about all of them," said Thomas Bender, a Wellersburg resident. Bender isn't a certified first responder, but he does live across the street from the Mount Harmony United Methodist Church, which had to move after trucks repeatedly crashed into the building while traveling on Route 160. "Being in such close proximity to the accidents I usually try to go and make sure the drivers are all right," said Bender. The most recent crash along Route 160 happened in July. Construction has already begun for a five-truck pull-off area at the top of Wellersburg Mountain Road. PennDOT plans to build a runaway truck ramp as well to help improve safety in the area, but it won't be built until 2020. "Usually what happens is they lose control of the trucks a great deal up the road and there's a fairly short turn right before the church, which prevents them from negotiating the turn and it's where they eventually lose control," said Bender. Residents hope that the pull-off and increased warning signs in the area will stop the crashes from happening. Bender is optimistic that the completion of 219 will also take drivers around Wellersburg. "That should take a lot of traffic off of here," said Bender. Until the truck pull-off area and runaway ramp are built, truck drivers traveling along Route 160 should gear down and slow down.