ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A long-closed road due to a severe mudslide in Ross Township has pushed a community activist to Get Marty.
“I just want the road opened,” says Eric Blondin.
He’s been trying to get Evergreen Road in the North Hills reopened for a year. It was closed by a mudslide last March, and fixing the mess will take nearly a year and cost taxpayers nearly $300,000. But it causes maddening delays for the families that live there.
“The trees came down, the power lines came down, the mud came down. We were trapped here,” says Evergreen Road resident, Rita Buhot.
She says she’s been fighting the mudslide problem along Evergreen Road for years. She blames the owner of Rico’s restaurant for the mess.
“Its not our fault. We didn’t do it,” says Rico’s owner, Rico Lorenzini.
The 80-year-old has owned his iconic restaurant for more than 40 years. He wants to take care of the mess. But says he cannot afford the price tag.
“I just can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t get $300,000 for this,” he says.
Meantime, community activists have posted nasty comments on Facebook regarding Rico’s. They have even talked about pickets.
“Rico has been a bad neighbor. We want this road opened,” says Blondin.
There is a possible resolution. Allegheny County has agreed to pay one-third of the cost. So, if Rico’s agrees and pay one-third, and Ross Township chips in the other one-third needed, it will get done.
If not, the county will take on the project and sue Rico’s to recover the cost. But Rico says he’s ready to write a check to cover a third of the cost.
“I’ll pay one-third. I’ll pay one-third for sure. I am not a bad guy. I want to help,” he says.
KDKA has not been able to determine if Ross Township is prepared to pay one-third.
Meantime, site testing has concluded, and Allegheny County will put out the project to bid.
Evergreen Road will most likely be closed for at least another nine months.
If you’d like Marty to help you solve your problem, email him at GetMarty@kdka.com.