Truck damages Avalon street

A substantial portion of Elizabeth Avenue in Avalon is believed to be undermined after a tractor-trailer truck sheared off a fire hydrant Friday morning, Sept. 18.

The accident occurred just after 6 a.m. when the driver, traveling up Elizabeth from Ohio River Boulevard, attempted to turn left onto Jackman Avenue.

Sandra Zimmerman, 45, of Juneau, WI, was delivering rolls of paper to the Post-Gazette.

The driver told police that a new GPS device had directed her off Route 65 and onto the residential street, where a limited turning radius put her into the fire hydrant at the corner of Elizabeth and Jackman.

Borough manager Harry Dilmore said that the hydrant’s safety features kicked in, preventing water from shooting out of the hydrant line, but then the truck’s passenger wheels hit another pipe, breaking it off at the elbow. Thousands of gallons of water poured under Elizabeth Avenue for nearly an hour and a half, Dilmore said, as no one could reach the shut-off valve located beneath the truck until the vehicle was towed out of the hole.

Dilmore said that the borough removed three to five truckloads of sand and gravel that was washed from beneath the street to the bottom of Elizabeth.

The area remains open to traffic for the meantime. Dilmore said that engineers will assess the damage Monday.

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