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Monroeville sinkhole work to be completed by end of year

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express
Crews have begun work to repair the large sinkhole near the Giant Eagle on Old William Penn Highway in Monroeville.

Work has begun to repair a massive sinkhole off Route 22 in Monroeville.

Councilwoman Lois Drumheller said she was told by the property owners — the Glimcher Group — that the project would be completed before winter. Drumheller said that as both a Ward 3 councilwoman and resident, she is pleased to see the progress being made.

“I do live close to that shopping center, as do residents of Williamsburg and Glenwood plans, so we are all happy that the Glimcher Group made good on their determination to finishing (repairs) before it gets cold again,” Drumheller said.

The sinkhole — at least 30 feet deep and 30 feet wide — formed in September 2011 at the entrance of Giant Eagle and soon became an issue for residents who voiced their frustration at council meetings. Officials called it a safety hazard, as drivers were making illegal turns out of the parking lot to avoid a detour.

Glimcher Group Property Manager Mary Paulo-Kozy said last week that she expects the project to wrap up by the end of this year, but she could not give a specific date or time.

“It's all weather dependent,” she said.

In May of last year, Monroeville engineer Paul Hugus — who said the project's completion relied on approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection — estimated that the sinkhole might be filled by October 2012. That proved to be an overly optimistic estimate, though the DEP since has approved the project.

Drumheller said she was told last year by Paulo-Kozy that the Glimcher Group had to seek alternative funding because insurance would not cover the costs entirely.

The funding has since become available. Giant Eagle Spokesperson Dick Roberts, who did not respond to a request for comment, said in April that the business and its employees look forward to the completion of the project and that customers have been served continuously since the sinkhole formed.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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