Route 30 is now completely closed in East Pittsburgh after state highway officials said the ground underneath the road has continued to shift.
Westbound lanes --- from East Pittsburgh toward Forest Hills --- were closed Wednesday after officials said the roadway was settling and cracking, but one eastbound lane remained open.
At 1 p.m. Friday, the state Department of Transportation closed the remaining lane so that excavation work could begin. A PennDOT spokesman said it's too soon to say how long the closure will last, or how the road will be repaired.
The closure will be a headache for motorists; according to PennDOT traffic volume maps, about 22,000 cars use that stretch of Route 30 every day.
Geotechnical engineers are conducting tests to determine the cause and extent of the collapse, PennDOT said.
The affected stretch of road is just west of the George Westinghouse Bridge, between Center Street in East Pittsburgh and Electric Avenue in North Braddock.
Problems have been reported along that portion of highway for several weeks. In March, crews from Allison Park Contractors conducted emergency repairs after the roadway began settling.
But this week, the problem took on new dimensions, after portions of the hillside beneath the road collapsed, opening large cracks in the pavement and causing the westbound lanes to visibly drop several inches.
A wet winter and spring has caused landslides throughout Western Pennsylvania. In February, Pittsburgh broke a rainfall record that was set in 1887, and more than a dozen landslides were reported.
Earlier this week, residents of a senior citizen apartment building were evacuated after a landslide caused utility lines to break. The building is just below the affected section of Route 30.
The official detour takes motorists over Electric Avenue toward the Tri-Boro Expressway (Braddock Avenue), and then onto East Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard.
At Navy-Marine Corps Way in North Versailles Twp. --- near the Primanti Brothers restaurant --- traffic is re-routed back onto Route 30 at Great Valley Shopping Center.
Police will assist motorists along the detour, a PennDOT spokesman said, and crews are posting detour signs. Drivers should allow extra time and consider alternate routes, he said.
Originally published April 06, 2018.