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A Look At Allegheny County's Process To Repairing Landslides And Repaving Roads

PENN HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) -- If you are waiting for Allegheny County to repave your road or take care of a landslide near you, the wait may be longer than you want.

More than 6,300 drivers every day can tell you about the inconvenience of a road closed by a landslide.

Those drivers would love to be on a normal drive down Nadine Road in Penn Hills, but a landslide several months ago took out most of the road.

Nadine Road is one example of the onslaught of landslides that have been well documented over the past couple of years.

Not only do they mess up commuting, but they have also done a number on the public works budget.

"The needs are always more than what you have," said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

In Fitzgerlad's proposed $959.8 million budget for the 2020 fiscal year, the county executive has increases to try and address problem spots.

But it still might not be enough, so Allegheny County Public Works Director Stephen Shanley said the county constantly reviews all the slides and the paving projects.

"We look at which ones are bad and which ones we need to remediate right away," said Shanley.

In recent years, the county has repaired and paved between 58-60 road miles every year.

"This year, we'll probably do more like 48 (miles)," Fitzgerald said. "It's a little bit less but it's still above the standard. We want to keep it above 40."

The county executive said they have no choice but to prioritize which slides get repaired and which roads get paved.

Shanley said the priority list assesses needs based on safety, average daily traffic numbers, condition of the road, and how the road is used.

"The neighborhood you live in is always the more important one and sometimes that's the case," Fitzgerald said. "But a lot of times it comes down to need and what needs to be done first."

A few years ago, the county invested in its own milling and paving machines and that has allowed county employees to take on some of the paving jobs and saved the county from hiring contractors.

WATCH: An update on Nadine Road from KDKA's John Shumway.

In some cases, they can extend the life of a road by only fixing the bad spots.

"On lower volume roads, we use chip seal. We use whatever resources we can to extend the life of our roads throughout the county," Shanley said

Fitzgerald wants to keep the road paving work above 40 miles a year but understands the weather can change that plan.

The work on Nadine Road is the county's top priority and a recent design change may extend the work. But the target for getting the road reopened remains the end of October.

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