Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

TEMPORARY FIX MAY SOON OPEN MOUNT NEBO ROAD TO MOTORISTS [Corrected 01/30/15]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

TEMPORARY FIX MAY SOON OPEN MOUNT NEBO ROAD TO MOTORISTS [Corrected 01/30/15]

Article excerpt

The reopening of flood-damaged Mount Nebo Road, which could happen by the end of this month, can't come soon enough for many of the business owners who have stores and restaurants along the state thoroughfare.

After heavy rains from Hurricane Ivan washed away the ground beneath it, a section of the road broke apart and sank.

As a result, the busy, two-lane street has been closed since Sept. 17 between Roosevelt and McAleer roads in Ohio Township.

Brayman Construction, the contractor hired by the state Department of Transportation, is shooting for completion of a temporary roadway by the end of this month with permanent paving to be completed in the spring. "It's still going to depend on the weather," said PennDOT spokeswoman Connie Parker.

The repair project will cost about $1.14 million.

The entire width of the road was not undermined by the storm waters, meaning that emergency vehicles were able to slowly make their way through the damaged area on one narrow lane. Once reconstruction began, however, the road became impassible.

As a result, Ohio Township police cars and ambulances now have to follow the same detours around the work site, Chief Norbert Micklos said. "It could add some seconds to our response time."

There are shorter detours than the official one marked by PennDOT, but they involve driving through residential areas or on narrow, winding country lanes not designed for heavy traffic.

Crawford Road, for example offers alternative access between Roosevelt and Camp Horne roads, but sends drivers down a twisting, steep route that normally attracts almost as many deer as automobiles.

The combination of more traffic, heavier vehicles -- including Avonworth school buses -- and recent freeze-thaw cycles guarantees plenty of potholes, Micklos predicted.

After what some business people saw as a slow start on Mount Nebo repairs, crews have been busy whenever the weather has been warm or dry enough to allow outdoor work. "They are down there every day, and they're moving lots of dirt," Micklos said.

Recipes Remembered restaurant sits at the intersection of Mount Nebo and McAleer roads. "During the first five weeks, business was down about 50 percent," said owner Pete Pivaronas. …

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