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Fence fixed after keeping boulder off Route 28 near Sharpsburg

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

A 2-ton rock that slid last week along Route 28 in Sharpsburg has been cleared and the fencing replaced to protect motorists from future falls.

Crews from Allison Park Contractors worked around-the-clock for three days to remove the boulder, which was hanging against a fence over the shoulder of the Route 8 off-ramp, said PennDOT Spokesman Steve Cowan.

“There is really no way of knowing if additional rocks will fall, that's why it was important to get this work done as quickly as we could,” he said.

The rock slide occurred Jan. 16, with crews beginning work to clear it the following morning.

They removed fence panels that were mangled by the fall and then removed the rock and surrounding debris, which was extensive, Cowan said.

“They took 12 triaxles worth of rock out of that area,” he said.

Cowan did not have a cost estimate for the work.

Fencing was installed in the area three years ago. Cowan said this incident illustrated its effectiveness in preventing a disaster.

“It worked exactly as designed,” he said.

“But, because of the rock laying on the fence, it had limited capacity and we needed to get it back to 100 percent.”

Motorists were affected only minimally during the work.

The ramp remained open, with crews closing only the shoulder of the northbound Route 8 ramp. There was a partial lane shift but traffic was able to keep moving during the work, Cowan said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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