Turnpike and PennDOT workers got their goats

The Associated Press

If you’re working on 109-foot-tall bridges, you’d better not be afraid of heights.

If you’re a goat wandering around on that bridge? Same.

A team effort Tuesday involving the state police and workers from PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike resulted in the rescue and safe return of two wayward goats from an I-376 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) bridge in Lawrence County.

The goats had wandered off from a nearby farm the day before, apparently avoiding detection until a little after 10 a.m. Tuesday, when state troopers spotted the pair walking out on an outer support beam of the bridge over the Mahoning River, said Rosanne Placey, spokeswoman for the turnpike, which operates that stretch of I-376.

“I was on my way back to Harrisburg from Pittsburgh,” Placey said Thursday morning. “That’s when Goat Watch really got started.”

With some coordination, PennDOT workers brought in a nearby snooper crane — one used to reach over the sides of bridges while they are inspected — to rescue the goats.

Or, rather, to rescue one of them. Placey said one goat was willing to be picked up in the crane’s bucket and returned to the bridge deck; the other, apparently more adventurous one, preferred to walk back to land along the beam.

“They followed that one along with the crane, to make sure it didn’t fall,” Placey said.

Both goats were then returned to their home unharmed, Placey said.