PennDOT takes steps to stop flooding on Banksville Road

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Drivers traveling from Downtown to the South Hills won't have to worry about avoiding Banksville Road when it's raining anymore.

The state Department of Transportation has developed a makeshift solution to the problem that caused Banksville Road to flood three times in the past two weeks.

Officials have had to close the section between Crane Avenue and the Parkway West temporarily after several storms, recently on Monday and Tuesday. In each instance, Banksville Road was able to open again after a few hours, but not before inconveniencing drivers traveling between the South Hills and Downtown.

Steve Cowan, a spokesman for PennDOT, said on Thursday a crew removed the portion of a failed pipe on private property and constructed a system that will allow extra water to flow into an open ditch.

Rocks and a fence will block the water from spilling onto the roadway again.

If action had not been taken by PennDOT, the roadway would flood again the next time there is significant rainfall due to the collapsed pipe.

Mr. Cowan said the pipe that runs parallel to Banksville Road is the responsibility of the owner to fix because it is on private property.

PennDOT had a meeting with the property owner -- Ahan Hospitality -- but no decision was reached to repair the pipe. The company could not be reached for comment.

In the meantime, PennDOT worked Thursday afternoon to make sure Banksville Road doesn't flood the next time it rains.

Ideally, the pipe will be fixed by the property owner soon because Mr. Cowan does not know if the department's solution is sustainable.

"We can't continue to close Banksville in the interest of public safety," Mr. Cowan said, adding that if flooding continues to be a problem, PennDOT will repair the pipe and send the property owner a bill.

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Jessica Tully: jtully@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1159 and on Twitter: @jessalynn4.


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