EAST PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Crews began demolishing a house below the Route 30 landslide in East Pittsburgh on Friday morning.
The demolition is scheduled because PennDOT wants to make way for a new retaining wall in the area. A PennDOT spokesperson said the home is being demolished very carefully because they don’t want to damage the building below. The full demolition could take up to two days.
The home, along with two apartment buildings and another home, were all damaged in the Route 30 collapse.
Officials said earlier this month that while they were demolishing one of the apartment buildings, cracks started to form at the base of the home and the wall that was holding up the deck started to move.
The homeowner said the home has been there for more than 60 years. Neighbors say they weren’t surprised the home was damaged when they learned about the landslide.
“I’m not an expert, but I think what happened, just looking at the landscape, when they built the road, they took a little bit of a shortcut,” neighbor Dan Riccobon said.
The homeowner and neighbors watched the demolition from across the street.
“To lose everything is a shame. I think something should be done for them,” Riccobon said. “It’s just sad. IT’s nobody’s fault, but it’s just sad.”
On Tuesday, Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald declared a disaster emergency. The goal in doing that is to meet the threshold for federal financial assistance from communities that have been impacted by landslides, including East Pittsburgh, and flash flooding from earlier this year.
Governor Tom Wolf is hopeful Allegheny County will qualify for that assistance.
“I think what we’re all trying to do is get that to the threshold that qualifies this area for financial aid from the feds,” Wolf said. “There’s real money there.”
Golden Triangle Construction was awarded $6.54 million from PennDOT to work on the new retaining wall.
They are hopeful all of the work will be completed before July.