Wilmerding seeks National Guard's assistance to repair Ice Plant Hill Road
Wilmerding officials may be able to enlist the assistance of the Pennsylvania National Guard to fix Ice Plant Hill Road.
A landslide occurred there, across from the Wilmerding YMCA, on Jan. 15.
It forced closure of the road at the Wilmerding/North Versailles Township line, affecting YMCA patrons as well as motorists traveling from East McKeesport into Wilmerding. Motorists can reach the Y from East McKeesport, where Morrelle Avenue leads into Ice Plant Hill Road, but cannot access adjacent Westinghouse Avenue in Wilmerding.
Wilmerding council president Stephen Shurgot said on Friday the borough sought assistance from local legislators, and received a response from U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills.
“Doyle reached out to us and sent us the application for the project that we used 17 years ago for the National Guard to come out,” Shurgot said. “We submitted that. It's been accepted, but they won't proceed with it until we get this soil analysis. We reached out to (Allegheny) County again to see if they'll help us with this soil sample study. We have a bid of a little under $16,000 to do that, so we're looking for people to partner with us, and we're waiting on a response.”
Ice Plant Hill Road and Westinghouse Avenue have been lined with Jersey barriers to hold back falling rocks and dirt since the National Guard was called in during the 1990s by Doyle.
Doyle's spokesman Matt Dinkel confirmed on Friday that Wilmerding's application was submitted to the National Guard for its Innovative Readiness Training program.
“They basically use training exercises to help communities with their infrastructure needs,” Dinkel said. “Since they have to train in doing some of this work anyway, they make it something that's useful to some community in Pennsylvania ... We're waiting to get a copy of their application. Once we have it, we'll write a letter of support for the project. If it all works out and the project is selected, then the National Guard would do the work in 2016. That's the cycle they're in now. In the meantime, studies have to be done first.”
East Allegheny School District rejected a proposal to pay the lion's share of costs for the study of the unstable hillside.
Allegheny County public works director Steven W. Johnson wrote a letter earlier this year stating the three taxing bodies that jointly own the land that is the focus of the study should sign an agreement to share the costs based on taxes. That would mean East Allegheny would pay 68 percent, or roughly $10,400, Wilmerding would pay 20 percent, or around $3,000, and the county 12 percent, or a little less than $2,000.
District officials said in April that there were not enough funds available for the effort.
Shurgot said something needs to be done quickly because emergency vehicles are having a hard time responding to calls, and referenced a medical call at the YMCA on June 1.
Shurgot is executive director of Eastern Area Prehospital Services, the Turtle Creek-based ambulance company that serves his borough and other municipalities.
“It took us about four minutes longer than usual to get there because there was no direct access,” Shurgot said. “Our worst fear was realized (that) day. Ice Plant Hill's closed, Greensburg Pike's bridge is closed and a tree blocked Fifth Avenue (on June 1.) We had to come all the way into town through West Wilmerding, come up by Wal-Mart and make a big circle. The fire department had a fire call and had to do the same thing ... Everything was OK, thankfully.”
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mon Valley motorists can expect more traffic woes
- More Mon Valley communities add banners honoring veterans
- Homestead Cemetery records will be preserved
- Yankee Doodle Dandies still going strong
- Hazelwood man shot in Homestead
- Animal rights group protests in Pleasant Hills
- Elizabeth Twp. scraps results of Civil Service test
- Restoration work continues on North Versailles waterline project
- Projects to impact McKeesport motorists
- McKeesport Area students navigate obstacles
- W. Elizabeth mulls cost of new garage