ARMSTRONG COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) – Another landslide closed down state Route 66 on Friday.
State Route 66 is closed from Main Street in Leechburg to Airport Road in Gilpin Township.
Around 9:30 Thursday evening, PennDOT crews came out to find the second landslide this week on state Route 66. Earlier this week, another one was just down the road.
Crews stopped working on clearing debris from the road Friday morning because more of the hillside came down. They hope some sunny weather will dry out the hill so they can return to the area on Monday.
“That’s kind of why we are leaving it alone right now. I’d rather keep our guys safe and keep the road shut down for the public’s safety as well,” said Luke Crawford, PennDOT assistant highway maintenance manager said.
According to Crawford, the hillside can’t take the amount of rain we’ve received in the last week.
“The hillside can’t hold it anymore, so it comes down,” he told KDKA.
People who live and work down the street agree that this has only become an issue over the past couple of years.
“There’s a couple times where a couple trees fell down and almost hit the house. I was a little [worried]. I hope this doesn’t hit the house,” Lester Kindler said.
Just down the street from Kindler is CID Associates in Leechburg.
“That might be an issue on Monday. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays on Monday to see if any more comes down,” Chris Pisor from CID said about the landslide.
They need to move a portable steel building on Monday. Their only way to go is on 66, which PennDOT says won’t be reopened until July 1 — at the earliest.
PennDOT is evaluating the future of the hillside and if they need to make changes along 66. They said it comes down to budgeting.
“If it’s going to stay wet like this, it’s obviously going to happen more and more often. Our engineers are always looking at ways to improve things,” Crawford said.
Right now, there are no plans for change.
PennDOT is asking people to take alternate 66, state Route 2066 as the detour.
One lane will remain open for emergency vehicles on 66.