In less than three months, PennDOT and its partners reopened Route 30 to the public after it a section of the roadway was closed due to a major landslide. And recently, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards visited the site to thank the workers and local partners for their hard work in getting the road reopened quickly and safely
“The intense dedication shown by everyone assisting those impacted by this slide and reopening this roadway has been astounding,” Richards said. “I am proud of and thankful for their commitment to completing this mission.”
The highway closed April 7 after the landslide caused the collapse of three lanes, displaced 31 people, and destroyed two apartment buildings and one house. Closure of the highway also meant rerouting approximately 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles that normally used the road each day as a main artery to the Parkway East from North Versailles, East McKeesport and North Huntingdon.
While visiting the site, Richards applauded the work of Pittsburgh-based District 11, as well as the cooperation between state, county, and municipal officials.
“I know when I look back at my career as PennDOT secretary, this project is going to be one of the examples I give to show how PennDOT works with our communities in getting projects done,” she said.
Typically, a project of this magnitude would take about two to three years to design and acquire Right of Way, and an additional seven to eight months to construct. The work isn’t quite done yet, though. Construction work will continue on the site below Route 30, including concrete lagging installation, reestablishing gas and water lines, anti-graffiti application to the wall, and final grading. Minor construction activities requiring short-term lane restrictions may occur on Route 30. PennDOT will monitor the roadway for potential settlement of fill material.
Additionally, about 30 residents displaced by the landslide are waiting to either move back into apartments or find suitable replacement housing. Some are staying in apartment-style hotels paid for by PennDOT.
“This has been ultimate team effort,” said District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni. “I am amazed at the commitment of everyone involved and want to thank those who are helping to bring the Route 30 reopening over the finish line.”