Thruway to be closed in both directions from Exit 48 to 48A to deactivate power lines and remove pole
First responders are staging in the area of the travel plaza in Pembroke awaiting command to close the Thruway in both directions so National Grid crews can safely remove a damaged utility pole and sagging power lines. The power lines will need to be de-energized in order to do that.
The Thruway Authority has approved the action, which "could be a long event," according to a first responder on scene.
National Grid is sending a crew to the scene to cut power to the lines and repair the pole.
They are coordinating the work at the Service Area nearby needed to close westbound and eastbound lanes from Exit 48 to Exit 48A.
Town of Batavia Fire Department is ready to shut down westbound traffic at Exit 48.
Pembroke, Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are ready to shut down eastbound traffic at Exit 48A.
UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: Command has OK'd the shutdown of the Thruway, including the eastbound on-ramp.
UPDATE 4:57 p.m.: Some cars in line at the Service Center are being allowed to leave now; eastbound traffic at 48A is shut down.
UPDATE 4:58 p.m.: Westbound traffic is shut down. The Thruway Authority is being kept apprised of the work and may provide a crew to relieve firefighters of traffic control if need be.
UPDATE 5:03 p.m.: It is confirmed that the Thruway Authority will have a crew respond to relieve firefighters of traffic control duties; no ETA though.
UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: "I want you to keep traffic moving at that light; we've got a mess here," says command. Corfu fire is to assemble in their hall to stand by for Pembroke, East Pembroke and Indian Falls.
UPDATE 5:18 p.m. The county Highway Department is called to bring a loader to the pole repair site so National Grid workers can gain access to the pole.
UPDATE 5:51 p.m.: Command reports that National Grid estimates this job will take two to three more hours. The Thruway Authority had been advised of this.
UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: The power lines have been deactivated. The Thruway can be safely be reopened and they are doing that now -- in both directions. The fire assignments are back in service. National Grid will be working on repairs for some time and the Thruway will likely have to be closed at some point later tonight to put the pole back in place and activate the lines again. At that point, it is possible a Thruway Authority crew can respond for traffic control.