Township Manager Dan DeLong told the Upper Milford Board of Supervisors at Monday night’s meeting that Buckeye Road likely will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The road has been shut down since a Sunday night collision between a fuel tanker truck and a passenger car that left a Macungie man dead and resulted in 2,500 gallons of fuel oil spilling onto the roadway.
Cleanup efforts are under way, and large quantities of contaminated soil have been and continue to be removed under the supervision of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), DeLong reported. “They’re doing as much as they can do,” he said. “It’s a major problem.”
Supervisor Robert Sentner emphasized that Buckeye Road is a state road under the jurisdiction of PennDOT, which means that Upper Milford has little, if any, control over how long the cleanup takes and when the road will be reopened.
“I know that this is an environmental problem,” Sentner said, “but I ask that the DEP think about the businesses and residents in some of their decisions.”
Supervisors Chairman Dan Mohr said a word of thanks to the emergency responders who handled the accident and its aftermath, including fellow supervisor and Vera Cruz Fire Company Assistant Chief George DeVault, who spent seven hours on the scene from Sunday night into Monday morning.
Calling the response of his colleagues in the fire department “superb,” DeVault said that the countless hours of Haz-Mat training paid off as “everyone knew exactly what to do and did it."
“We dodged a bullet on this one. If that truck had contained gasoline or propane or something more volatile, we’d still be recovering victims down there,” he said.