Lane restrictions cause traffic back-up on Route 5 in Lackawanna and Hamburg - The Buffalo News

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Lane restrictions cause traffic back-up on Route 5 in Lackawanna and Hamburg

The good news is Route 5 in Lackawanna opened to traffic about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The bad news came when more than 10,000 motorists were trying to get to work in Buffalo and points north, bringing three lanes of traffic into one.

But orange cones were taken down and traffic was moving freely through the area by 9:30 a.m.

Route 5 had been closed because of flooding caused by a water main break, which crews isolated this morning.

“Our crews have been out of there. We have remediated what we were in need of doing,” Erie County Water Authority spokesman Matt Baudo said.

Baudo said the water authority crews were done about 7:45 a.m. Thursday.

Then the state Department of Transportation did some final cleanup of the area before it opened.

The road had flooded near the former Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, near the border with Hamburg, leaving a small lake in the road a few hundred feet in diameter and more than 2 feet deep in places.

The water authority finally found a leak in a 16-inch main that it repaired.

But many motorists flocked to the road that had been closed more than a day, not knowing it was down to one lane in each direction. The traffic backed up to south of the Woodlawn Stamping Plant, and it took about a half hour to navigate.

“Traffic was snarled earlier due to volume backed up all the way past the Ford plant,” said Hamburg Police Lt. Michael Lavelle. “It has since cleared up and traffic is moving along nicely.”

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