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EAST PITTSBURGH, Pa. (KDKA) – When the Road Closed signs went up on Route 30 on April 6, it was the beginning of a challenging three months for drivers from East Pittsburgh, North Versailles, and all points south and east.
Just before 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, drivers got their road back from the Westinghouse Bridge to Forest Hills.
“About 30,000 travelers a day have been pretty patient taking some pretty circuitous routes over the past few months and they’re going to be thrilled to have this back,” Penndot Dist. 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said.
As he left home in East Pittsburgh William Jenkins was all smiles when he realized the road was open.
“It means I won’t have to be taking these detours and less traffic in East Pittsburgh,” he said.
Moon-Sirianni warns drivers that the speed of getting the road reopen leaves open a possibility of an issue ahead.
“We might see a little bit of settlement, whenever you do fill you we have a little bit of settlement we’ll keep an eye on that and if it gets too bad we’ll come out and repair it,” she said.
It took drivers no time at all to get right back up to routine speed on the reborn stretch of Route 30.
The return of the road means more than just undoing the inconvenience for thousands of drivers. It also restores the critical path first responders use. The detours have meant travel time delays in a business where every second is critical.
Even as the traffic returns to the road, the work is not done. Over the hillside Chris Morgan’s home was a victim of the slide.
“Broke my heart cause I put 25 years of my life in that house,” Morgan said.
Penndot is working to get the Morgans resettled.
“They moved all the furniture out and we were thinking of moving but not this way,’ Morgan said. “Maybe we can get a decent place now and get out of the area.”
Next door, the residents of the Electric Avenue Apartments remain in hotels as their complex is still a construction zone.
“There’s a part of the wall that did not have to be completed to get the main part of the road open,” Moon-Sirianni said.
The prefab concrete slabs still must be installed and Moon-Sirianni says, “None of the utilities are hooked up to the apartment complex. There’s a water line that has to go in, so there’s a lot of work to be done.”
While there is no set timetable, Penndot hopes to see the residents back in the apartments sometime around the end of July.