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PennDOT On High Alert For Landslides After Downpour

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - After all the recent wet weather, PennDOT crews are on watch for potential landslides.

Some of it has to deal with topography where you have a steep hillside. Add some water and you have a recipe for landslides.

Michael Adams is the acting Allegheny County maintenance manager. He said the soil we have can become unstable when it's too wet, and the location of some roads creates challenges.

"A lot of times when they built these roads, they didn't take those really accurate construction practices into place," Adams said over Zoom.

So far PennDOT has not had any landslides reported but after these past rainy days, they are on alert.

"It's nearly impossible to predict when a landslide could occur," he said.

When the hills give way, it can be a costly project. Adams said they have to spend about $30-40 million a year to address landslides across Allegheny County. Some of their biggest problem areas are in Forward Township, Elizabeth and Saxonburg.

"It has a lot to do with the topography of those locations, and just how the roadways are set up and how stable those roadways are in those areas," Adams said.

Crews said some signs include cracks or dips in the roadway.

"You could start to see cracks in the hillside itself. Potentially if the landslide is coming from above down onto the roadway, you may see material moving down the hillside," Adams said.

PennDOT says if you see any of those signs, be sure to let them know.

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