MIDLAND (KDKA) — PennDOT crews are spending the assessing and cleaning up after a landslide brought down a tree and other debris onto a road in Beaver County.
Wednesday morning, Route 168 in Midland was closed from Woodlane Avenue to Midland Heights Circle, because of a landslide. A large tree and a pile of mud slid onto the roadway, bringing down power lines.
“There’s one large tree laying across the road. There’s also some mud that came out onto the road as well. There’s also a small secondary slide about a thousand feet up above that, but that’s not affecting the road,” said Dean Poleti, a maintenance services engineer with PennDOT.
Water could be seen rushing down the road from the hillside.
Poleti described this particular slide as a mudslide.
“The second one is like a rock outcrop that fell down, so that’s just some rock that came off the hillside, the first one is mainly just mud,” he told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.
The slide was first reported around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Duquesne Light and PennDOT crews responded.
NOW: Fairview Rd. (Rt. 168) in Midland, Beaver Co. is closed between Woodlane Ave. and Midland Heights Circle because of a landslide. @PennDOTNews crews are here. A 911 operator says the road is expected to be closed most of the day. #KDKA pic.twitter.com/qFVT8vkDeq
— Lisa Washington (@LisaWashing) June 19, 2019
Drivers were forced to turn around at the closure and find an alternate route.
The good news, there is already a plan to clear the roadway.
“We’re going to be cleaning the tree up and getting the mudslide cleaned up once the utility lines are out of the way,” said Polenti.
No timeframe was given for when the road might reopen.
Poleti said this is one of several landslides in the area.
“We’ve had quite a few of them within our district, which is Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence County,” he said. “We have well over 90 of them now. Over the last two years, we’ve had a tremendous amount of rain, and it’s saturated the ground, and it’s continued to rain, which doesn’t help this situation.”
In Armstrong County, part of Route 66 also had to shut down Wednesday morning because of a landslide. It was closed from the intersection of Main Street in Leechburg to Sirport Road in Gilpin Township.
Armstrong County: RT-66 is closed in both directions due to a landslide. It’s at closed at the intersection of Main Street in Leechburg and ends at Airport Road in Gilpin Township. RT-66 is expected to re-open 5 p.m. today, weather permitting. #PennDOTupdate @KDKA
— Celina Pompeani (@CelinaPompeani) June 19, 2019
PennDOT crews worked to remove the debris, and the road was expected to reopen early this afternoon.