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Twin Oaks Drive in Murrysville could be closed for good

| Thursday, April 25, 2013, 12:06 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Mur
Twin Oaks Drive collapsed and slid over the hillside in Murrysville earlier this month. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Mur
Twin Oaks Drive collapsed over the hillside in Murrysville in April 2013.

The site of a landslide in Murrysville might result in a permanent closing of part of an old farm road.

More than 130-feet of Twin Oaks Drive collapsed earlier this month in a landslide, causing Murrysville officials to close the road between Acorn Lane and Bridgewood Drive last week.

Officials are considering closing that portion of the road and turning both ends of Twin Oaks Drive into cul-de-sacs.

“There's no guarantee we won't continue to lose road where the slide is,” Chief Administrator Jim Morrison said.

“These slides are usually like a bowl of oatmeal.”

The slide isn't like a typical slide, Morrison said. Debris didn't fall onto the road — instead, the material underneath the road collapsed. Officials are unsure how the slide occurred.

Additionally, Morrison said the location of the displaced dirt and clay is unknown. Public Works employees dug down 10 feet and only could find clay, Morrison said.

Officials estimate that completely repairing the road could cost about $150,000 if the work is done in-house and significantly more if contracts are solicited.

Twin Oaks Drive connects with Sardis Road in two places and is one route used to access Townsend Park. Seven or eight homes will be affected, officials said.

“Any extra driving would be a trade-off for the serenity of not being a thruway,” public works director Bob Bell said.

The problem began about two or three weeks ago, Morrison said. A crack developed along the painted line, he said.

“That heavy rain came last week, and woosh — it went away,” Morrison said. “It's a perfect example of an old farm road.”

The road became a connector and saw more use in the 1960s, officials said.

There are no street lights along that portion of the road, Morrison said.

“Someone coming down the road at 40 mph is not going to be able to see it being one lane,” Morrison said.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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