The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is dealing with the situation no agency wants to face: a major road collapse. A portion of Rte. 30 in East Pittsburgh collapsed, causing a landslide that destroyed an apartment complex below and has led to the need for demolition of another adjacent apartment complex.
PennDOT has indicated the road collapsed some 30 ft. The apartment complex that fell as a result had been evacuated the night before and the remaining six complexes in the immediate vicinity were evacuated the following morning. According to PennDOT the weakening foundation and subgrade soils are spreading, causing more evacuations.
In a statement to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4, PennDOT District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni indicated the DOT is as-yet uncertain what the repair schedule will look like.
“That is unknown at this point,” Moon-Sirianni said. “Obviously it will not be a few days. We’re looking at possibly a month or two months, depending on what we find when we do [our] drillings.”
One week ago, PennDOT invoked traffic restrictions on that portion of Rte. 30 after a noticeable dip in the road was identified. This past Wednesday, the dip had grown to a significant crack that separated the driving surface; by Friday, all lanes were closed. There was no live traffic on the road when the collapse occurred.
Crews plan to remove the subsiding material until they reach solid ground they can build on and reinforce the hillside.