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PennDOT rejects Jeannette's request to fix hillside

| Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 2:15 p.m.

PennDOT has rejected the City of Jeannette's request to grade a hillside along Route 30.

City solicitor Scott Avolio said PennDOT's current road-widening project, just east of Jeannette, involved grading hillsides along the road. He said several residents voiced concerns about the cliff-like appearance of a hillside near Bel Aire Place that was not graded, so council reached out to PennDOT, asking it to make the hillside look similar to the neighboring graded properties.

PennDOT responded stating that the hillside is not in its right of way and the work is outside of the original scope of the project, so it cannot agree to fund the work.

“They don't own the whole hillside,” Avolio said. “It's not something they budgeted for.”

City engineer Ed Antonacci said he recently had a meeting with several representatives from Westmoreland County to discuss other ways of taking care of the matter.

“We're going to try to see if there are any other options available to get that taken care of so that it can be balanced with the other side of the road and make the appearance more unified,” he said.

Antonacci also said he and resident Tony DeNunzio recently met with Tay Waltenbaugh, director of Westmoreland Community Action, to discuss options.

Waltenbaugh said he is unsure how he can assist at this time and is looking into it. He said it would help if the Neighborhood Partnership Program gained more partners, so that it could generate more funding to address projects like the hillside. He said if he does figure out a way to help, he will first need approval from his advisory committee to proceed.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

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