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Clogged drain pipe creating problems on Fallowfield's Craven Hill

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 12:03 a.m.
Water over flows onto the Craven Hill section of Route 88 in Fallowfield Township on Jan. 21, 2013. Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Water over flows Rt 88 in Fallowfield Twp with some ice build up. Jim Ference | The Valley Independent

A clogged drain pipe is causing water to spill onto Craven Hill and creating a potentially dangerous situation for motorists, one official said.

A spokeswoman from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said crews could be on the scene as early as today to assess the problem on Route 88 at the bottom of Craven Hill in Fallowfield Township.

“From what I can see is that the hillside caved in the outlet drain,” Fallowfield Township supervisor Chairman Earl Sadler said. “PennDOT came down and put the warning signs in and we were told we can't touch it on the township level, that it's a state problem.”

With the drain pipe that carries stormwater under the roadway blocked, water has backed up on the west side of the road and has crept out into the road's surface. With temperatures dipping into the single digits, Sadler said it is an accident waiting to happen.

“There's only so much we can do,” Sadler said. “We called four weeks ago and talked to two different people. It's nothing that we could control with the weather, but now with the cold weather, all that water is freezing. Unfortunately, we know how the state is sometimes.”

PennDOT's District 12 spokeswoman, Valerie Petersen, said crews could be on the scene Wednesday.

“It could be that early, but it will definitely be sometime this week,” Petersen said. “They'll be bringing a trackhoe with them. It's a piece of heavy equipment that will help them determine what exactly the problem is.”

She added that a timetable for potential repairs can not be determined until the problem is thoroughly assessed.

“They need to figure out exactly what the problem is first,” she added. “The crew will be there this week, though, to get the process started.”

Fallowfield Township fire Chief Anthony Fleming said that the department hasn't received any accident calls to the area and admitted that he wasn't aware of the situation.

“I haven't been out that way in a while,” Fleming said. “It's something that we may want to take a look at. I haven't heard of any incidents down there as of yet.”

Sadler is hoping the situation gets resolved quickly.

“You can see that the water is barely trickling out of the pipe,” Sadler said. “It's a bad situation down there and it's been over a month. We need to get it fixed.”

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2667.