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Wilmerding Hillside Deemed Rockslide Risk, Road Closed

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

christinedantonio Christine D'Antonio
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WILMERDING (KDKA) — Officials have now deemed a crumbling hillside in Wilmerding a rockslide risk, closing it off to traffic until a permanent fix can be put into place.

It was around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when the hillside along Ice Plant Hill Road started to crumble into the middle of the street.

Across the street at the YMCA, those inside say it sounded like a car crash.

There weren’t any injuries when rocks crashed down onto the street.

Crews were able to clear things up quickly, but the section is a rockslide risk; so for now, there’s no getting through unless you’re using the sidewalk to get to the Wilmerding YMCA.

“Anyone coming up the hill has to park in our lower lot,” Scott Heasley, the director of the Wilmerding YMCA said. “People coming down the hill have to park in the upper lot, but the building is still open.”

This isn’t the first time the hillside’s come down.

The last major slide was in early 2000 when barriers were placed near the side of the road after crews worked to clear and try to prevent it from happening again.

Mother Nature helped the slide along due to the frost, thaw and the rain. The challenge now is making sure she can’t strike again.

“What we’ll have to do is, we’ll have to excavate the wall a good portion, scale it back, make sure everything is set, settled so we can prevent any of this,” Mike Jakub, with Wilmerding Public Works, said.

“The county, the school, the borough tried to get money together to fix this thing permanently,” Wilmerding’s Mayor Jim Wright said. “I think what we’ve been doing has been patches, and it’s not going to work.”

The section of road is shut down until further notice.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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