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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Landslides around the Pittsburgh area have prompted several road closures.

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The rain and snow that has been pounding us since the first of the year has created mushy ground struggling to hold up what it’s always held up before. Like on Route 30, just west of the Westinghouse Bridge. The road over the past month has been slowly shrinking into the hillside above Electric Avenue.

Robin Miller drives that stretch of Route 30 every day.

“I’ve been watching it. I’ve been scared for the people cause it’s really a dip,” she says.

(Photo Credit: John Shumway/KDKA)

Reggie Murphy says it was just a matter of time.

“That’s been dipping for I don’t know how long. So it’s about time they finally fix it and make it safe for people to drive,” he said.

PennDOT put a fresh layer of asphalt on not long ago to even it out, but the sagging has continued unabated.

Spokesman Steve Cowan says, “Today, the road is just settling too much, and it’s creating a traffic concern. So, for safety purposes, the department is closing westbound Route 30 until further notice.”

KDKA’s Meghan Schiller Reports:

While the engineers try to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it, all westbound traffic will follow this detour starting in North Versailles:

  • From westbound Route 30, all traffic will turn left onto Navy-Marine Corps Way
  • Turn right onto East Pittsburgh McKeesport Boulevard
  • Turn right onto Braddock Avenue toward E. Pittsburgh/Turtle Creek
  • Turn left onto Electric Avenue
  • Follow Electric Avenue back to westbound Route 30
  • End detour

The detour brings you up onto Route 30 just as the road enters Forest Hills.

Drivers are not thrilled with the detour.

As Miller says, “I’m not too happy about it ’cause I already have an hour commute into Oakland.”

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Cowan says they have no choice.

“It is going to be a difficult commute for motorists in the morning. I would strongly suggest looking for an alternate route, or give yourself plenty of extra time,” he said.

Crews brought a large drilling unit to the site on Wednesday night, and will begin doing core samples on Thursday in an effort to figure out what’s going on beneath the surface. As they begin the process of determining the cause and what it’s going to take to fix it, PennDOT has no way to estimate how long Westbound 30 will be closed and whether Eastbound 30 will also need to be closed for the repair operations.

About the single eastbound lane that remains open, Cowan says, “We’ll keep that lane open as long as we can. If there is a safety concern we won’t hesitate to close that.”

(Photo Credit: Christine D’Antonio/KDKA)

Northbound Route 65 was also shut down Wednesday after a landslide brought debris down onto the roadway. The road had to be closed just north of the Interstate 79 interchange. Also, the northbound I-79 ramp to Route 65 north was closed.

According to PennDOT officials, the landslide started around 11:30 a.m., and mud, rocks and parts of trees fell onto the road.

“Part of the hillside started coming down,” said Cowan. “There’s plenty of water and debris and trees that have slid.”

KDKA’s Christine D’Antonio Reports:

PennDOT had to detour traffic over to Neville Island, and then across the Sewickley Bridge and back onto 65.

It’s an area not known for slides.

“I have not seen any specific issues right in that area; however, we’re seeing landslides occur all over the place because of this crazy weather we’re having,” Cowan said.

PennDOT says Route 65 will remain closed for the rest of the night, but could reopen before the morning rush hour on Thursday.

Meanwhile, landslides have also closed sections of Powers Run Road in Fox Chapel, Broadhead Road in Moon and Spring Run Road in Crescent Township in Allegheny County. And, in Washington County, a landslide closed Route 88 in Lower Speers on Wednesday.

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(Source: Charleroi Fire Department)

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