Traffic backups along Clever Road in Kennedy and Robinson have commuters and residents wondering when action will be taken to clean up a landslide that has caused a one-lane restriction near the border between the two townships.
Allegheny County erected portable traffic signals at the site to direct traffic around the landslide.
Due to the possibility of impact to Interstate 79, the state Department of Transportation is working with Allegheny County -- which owns the road -- on the repair, said Jim Struzzi, PennDOT spokesman.
Mr. Struzzi expects slide repairs to begin within a few weeks. A design aspect for the project has been completed by engineers, he said.
The traffic lights will remain in place during the project, which is expected to finish "later this year," Mr. Struzzi said.
These portable lights allow five to six vehicles through per cycle, causing traffic to back up during high-use times. Mel Weinstein, Kennedy tax collector, said timing of the light is slow.
The landslide is located on the Robinson side of an I-79 overpass. It occurred just weeks after the Feb. 21 closure of Aiken Road Extension by Kennedy to repair a section of the road that had been steadily sinking. Initially, the road connecting Clever Road to Steubenville Pike through the Moon Run area was limited to one lane and later closed for repairs.
While a majority of this road is under Robinson jurisdiction, the sinking occurred in a thousand-foot section of the roadway that belongs to Kennedy.
The un-budgeted $250,000 repair project is expected to complete in mid-June, Mr. Weinstein said.
Kennedy is paying for the construction from a bond issue earmarked for road programs, he said. The unexpected repair did not affect the $500,000 in road paving projects planned for 2012. The 16 roads scheduled to be paved have already been completed. The majority of these roads are located in the Palm Acres and Apple Hill areas.
With the opening of Aiken Road Extension, Mr. Weinstein is concerned people will start using it as shortcut around the Clever Road traffic issues.
"We're gonna have a real mess," he said.
Sonja Reis, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org