Rockslide Closes Route 88 In Washington Co.
EAST BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Rocks as large as cars are blocking a road in Washington County after part of a hillside gave way over the weekend.
The debris has shut down both lanes of Route 88 in East Bethlehem Township and it could take weeks to remove it.
PennDOT crews are placing the blame for the rockslide on all the recent rain in our area.
“We’re having a lot of problems with the rain and that’s what made this rockslide occur. The first time I got the call, it was a one lane closure and then when I came down here, it was fully closed,” Martin Rapsack with PennDOT said.
Standing by the debris, KDKA-TV’s Ross Guidotti could hear creaking and groaning coming from the rock face above the debris.
There is a concern that the issue could become worse due to vibrations caused by passing trains on tracks nearby. As a result, trains have been asked to slow down while passing through the area.
PennDOT is trying to come up with a schedule to remove the rocks, but knows that gravity and water may not be done playing a role.
“We’re going to have to bring in some heavy equipment to bust the rocks up. And, to remove them, we’ll have our inspectors here, the engineers, looking at it while they’re doing the clean up for safety,” Rapsack said.
It could take two weeks to get Route 88 back open.