EAST PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A huge drill bites into the East Pittsburgh soil and pushes towards bedrock to make way for steel beams of the new retaining wall. A line of the steel wall posts already stand in perfect line at the base of the hill along Route 30.
“They are 20 foot below grade and 18 feet above grade,” says PennDOT District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, P.E.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
Precast concrete wall slabs will eventually be lowered in between the girders to create the final wall. For now, wood beams on the back of the steel centennials are holding back the large boulders of fill that are arriving by the truck load around the clock.
Golden Triangle Construction COO Chuck Niederriter says there is a lot more to come.
“There’s about 3,000-truckloads of rock to get in here in the next three weeks. We should have it all in here by then,” Niederriter said.
Meanwhile, holding the steel beams will be the guides for 65-foot bedrock anchors to be drilled on an angle to solid footing.
But that could prove challenging because, Moon-Sirianni says, “We don’t know where all the rock is for all the anchors. If we don’t hit rock where we think, it could take a little longer for that.”
Which makes PennDOT and Golden Triangle hesitant to commit to a date for the reopening of Route 30.
PennDOT is pushing the contractor for the sake of the thousands of people being detoured every day.
Moon-Sirianni says, “We all know the detour routes are a challenge and we all want to get people off of them as soon as possible.”
She says they also want to get the 31 displaced residents back into their apartments or alternative housing.
But for now, “We are not allowing anyone to return to the Brandywine Apartments at this time. Obviously, we’re in the middle of an active construction zone and safety is our utmost concern.
If the drilling of the bedrock anchors goes as planned, and there are no other snags, Golden Triangle is hoping to reopen Route 30 by the end of June.