ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — With rain in the forecast all week, work is underway to prevent another flood on McKnight Road in Ross Township.
As a light rain fell early Monday, Vince Leo was working his Soli Construction Company excavator as quickly as he could in a two-fold race with Mother Nature. One against the coming rain, the other against the slipping hillside next to the ditch.
Over the weekend, they uncovered the collapsed 20-foot section of the 5-foot drain pipe that has been acting like an underground dam and causing flooding on McKnight Road several times over the past month. The priority – get the clogged pipe section out of the way.
“We found a lot of sediment in there,” Ross Twp. Public Works director Michael Funk said. “The pipe was completely crushed.”
Once Vince and Company won the battle with the slipping trench side, a protective trench box was lowered into place to essentially become the walls of the pipe temporarily.
“So that if we have a storm, we have an open stream flowing through, and we shouldn’t have any flooding problems at that point,” Funk said.
Meanwhile, all along the McKnight corridor, Ross and PennDOT crews worked to clear and double-check the storm drains. But the collapsed pipe has given rise to concern about other sections of the 50-year-old pipe.
After a section collapsed a couple years ago and the resulting sinkhole devoured a car, property owners were alerted to the need to upgrade the pipe under their property.
“And many property owners moved forward and made repairs, but there are several that haven’t,” Ross Twp. commissioner Stephen Korbel said.
So the Township plans to recheck the lines and work with property owners to either replace or line the pipes with concrete.
“There may be portions that were fine when we looked at them a year or two ago that may not be in that condition today,” Korbel said.