VTrans: Changing traffic pattern did not cause fatal I-89 Colchester crash

COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) Over the weekend there was a deadly crash that backed up I-89 in Colchester. Although it took place while VTrans was using a crossover traffic pattern, officials say that did not cause the crash.

VTrans officials say when it comes to starting a construction project, they look at how to minimize the impacts of traffic as much as possible.

Todd Sumner, a senior project manager for VTrans, says they look at traffic volumes and peak hourly volumes.

"Because you may not have a lot of traffic during the course of a day, but right at those commuting hours in the morning or the afternoon you can get really good traffic flows," he said.

Once they've decided on traffic volume, the next step is for them to look at possible detours.

"We've had some projects where the detour is 74 miles, and that's not going to be a reasonable solution for maintaining traffic," said Sumner.

Closing the interstate is something he says they can't do because that would cause even more traffic. So when they can't close the interstate, they will use a crossover, which is what is being used on I-89 in Colchester. That's when they separate the south and northbound traffic into two lanes divided by a temporary concrete median.

We're told the crossover was in place at the time of the deadly crash, but officials say the changing pattern did not cause it.

"We have one lane of traffic being maintained in one barrel, in one direction with traffic going in both directions. That's a common practice that you see and that was what was in place this weekend," said Sumner.

VTrans say to keep drivers safe, they add extra signs in the construction zone urging drivers to slow down stay alert.