One Floodgate Fails to Automatically Stop Traffic During Pennsylvania Storm

May 4, 2017

Pittsburgh, Penn., public safety officials are trying to determine why a rain-activated gate failed to automatically stop traffic from entering a low-lying roadway during a storm Monday afternoon.

Instead, a police patrol car was parked across one entrance to the road when heavy rains and debris caused concerns of flash flooding.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation installed the $450,000 floodgate system in 2012 after four people died in an August 2011 flash flood. The system is now operated and maintained by the city and uses rain sensors that can trigger three swinging-arm gates and several lighted caution signals meant to keep motorists off Washington Boulevard.

The system has had problems, including a storm last August when some drivers had to be rescued after the gates didn’t deploy.

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