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PennDOT Updates Route 30 Work, 279 North Detour

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- PennDOT is meeting with contractors about the repair work on Route 30, but some are concerned about the aggressive timeline.

The landslide gap in Route 30 above East Pittsburgh is about 250 to 300 feet long.

That's how much of the road fell in when the land slide out from under it.

But the amount of Rt 30 that is going to be rebuilt is about twice that length.

Standing near the edge of collapsed section PennDOT Acting Assistant Executive for Construction Jason Zang explained, "what's still here is actually undermined. So we're going to pull it back make sure we get to the good compacted material beneath the road."

But before they can build the riding surface they have to clear an replace the fill from the soon to come wall and the road, about 150 feet.

That will be done in decreasing sizes of rock one layer at a time.

"You come up three feet you compact it, you come up three feet you compact it all the way up," Zang says.

And PennDOT wants all that work done before July.

Contractors interested in doing the work came to a mandatory briefing today with PennDOT's engineers.

More than a dozen were there and did question the round the clock mandated schedule and deadline.

"They thought that we should extend it," says PennDOT District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, P.E., "but they definitely understood the impact to the traveling public and the displaced property owners and they really didn't force the issue."

And PennDOT is not backing down on the effort have the road open by early July.

Also on hand were suppliers ready to bring in everything needed to get the work underway immediately.

Meanwhile Moon-Sirianni says they are trying to make the displaced residents more comfortable, "We have put some of them up in more of a residence inn type of place that has kitchenettes and they seem to be much more satisfied with that kind of place to live."

Of course Route 30 is far from PennDOT's only concern right now.

The Perrysville avenue split point is the 279 North detour is continuing to see close call after close call.

The issue is driver confusion and Moon-Sirianni says they've added more electronic signs, changed others, and yet "this is a work in progress. We have our traffic folks out there morning and evening and during the middle of the day trying to figure out better solutions to what we have out there. Especially at the merge point."

Only the Perrysville split seems to be an issue and while local drivers will figure out in time, Moon-Sirianni says there are a lot of out of town drivers who come through. So far no drivers have traded paint at the split so Penndot is urgently looking for answers. "We're hoping to get something figured out here in the next couple days that we think is good for everyone."

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