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Officials taking action to fix dangerous sidewalks along Delafield Road in O'Hara

| Monday, July 17, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
The sidewalk is crumbling along Delafield Road heading up the hill along the 600 block in Fox Chapel.

Sidewalks that line Delafield Road in O'Hara are crumbling and sunken to the extent that frequent walker Eric Rickin said he's considered filling the craters with yellow rubber ducks to call attention to the problem.

“With every heavy rain, the sidewalks get worse,” said Rickin, who lives nearby on East Waldheim Road and walks to work each day in Aspinwall.

“It can be dangerous to walk on that stretch, either on the sidewalk or, the alternative, out on the street.

“This is a safety issue, not an aesthetic one.”

The span in question is the block between the Route 28 overpass and the intersection of Valley Drive and East Waldheim. Delafield is an Allegheny County-owned road.

“O'Hara has a local ordinance that places ownership of the sidewalks on the property owner,” said Steve Shanley, county public works director.

Despite this, the county and O'Hara each said it will step up to restore the pavement and return the sidewalks to a safe condition.

O'Hara public works department will excavate and prepare the area.

“It's about a half-day's work for us,” Township Manager Julie Jakubec said. “We want to get this taken care of.”

County crews will then patch the damaged areas with hot asphalt to a depth of three inches.

Shanley said the property owners will be contacted and advised that if the county does any work, it will be a one-time-only repair. It will not constitute ownership.

“The property owner will need to acknowledge that in writing and sign a waiver,” he said.

County staff has met with Township Engineer Chuck Steinert to review the area. Jakubec said she is waiting to formalize a deal before proceeding.

“While we do not typically do work such as this, we do try to partner and work with our local municipalities,” Shanley said, adding that road maintenance is usually only provided curb to curb.

Rickin said he is one of many area residents who walk the hill between Aspinwall and the VA Pittsburgh Health System every day. At this point, people are avoiding the sidewalk and veering into the street, he said.

“Vets from the domiciliary walk to The Waterworks; other people walk to the bus to go to work downtown,” he said.

“The sidewalk is way worse than this spring and there are now several craters in it that are at least two-feet deep. This would be a disaster for pedestrians come winter and ice.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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