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Emergency repairs to Route 30 in East Pittsburgh cost more than $6.5 million and required the movement of 39,000 cubic yards --- about 55,000 tons --- of crushed concrete.
But the reopening of the highway on Wednesday afternoon -- a little more than two months after it was closed abruptly --- is "excellent news for area residents," state Sen. Jim Brewster said.
The highway, which carries 21,000 vehicles per day, had been closed between the George Westinghouse Bridge and Electric Avenue since April 7, when a landslide caused the highway to collapse and damaged a house and an apartment building below.
Motorists from the Mon-Yough area and Westmoreland County were forced to use a lengthy detour over surface streets in North Braddock, East Pittsburgh and North Versailles Twp.
Work at the site is continuing, including repairs to gas and water lines, installation of concrete lagging along the slide repair area, and final grading of the hillside, said Steve Cowan, spokesman for District 11 of the state Department of Transportation.
In addition, he said, PennDOT is monitoring the site for "potential settlement" of the material used to fill the slide.
Work to repair the damage began almost immediately, Cowan said, when crews from Allison Park Contractors removed the landslide, performed exploratory drilling and demolished several damaged buildings.
Simultaneously, Gannett Fleming, Inc. began design work to expedite the permanent repair of the roadway and hillside. The design, which would typically take up to two years, was completed in only nine days, Cowan said.
“This has been ultimate team effort,” said Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, PennDOT District 11 Executive, in a prepared statement. “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.”
Construction began April 27. Work included erection of a 400-foot-long wall including 51 steel pilings and 41 anchors. Crews also dumped 39,000 cubic yards of recycled concrete road material to stabilize the hillside, Cowan said.
“PennDOT has done a wonderful job in moving quickly on the repairs,” Brewster said Wednesday afternoon. "All those who worked to repair the road, strengthen the foundation and promote safety should be congratulated for their hard work and diligence.”
The speed of the work was "incredible," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said in a prepared statement. He called the product of a "partnership" between local, county and state officials. “I am looking forward to driving on Route 30 again soon,” Wolf said in a press release.
Originally published June 29, 2018.