Rain slows public works projects in Murrysville

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Unpredictable rain patterns and unexpected storms keep pulling Murrysville public-works crews away from projects, but officials say they're not falling too far behind.

“The weather always plays havoc,” said Bob Bell, director of public works for the municipality. “We just keep stopping maintenance projects to do storm-water cleanup.”

While paving projects are done and the overhaul of a portion of Logans Ferry Road near the Plum border is well on its way, it's other projects that keep getting interrupted.

For instance, crews spent Monday morning clearing stones from a driveway that washed into Sardis Road over the weekend. But crews need to spray guide rails for weeds, paint lines and demolish the deck at Townsend Park.

That's not always easy when only 12 of the past 39 days haven't seen raindrops. John Darnley, a hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service in Moon, said June and the start of July have been an abnormally wet time period.

In June, 5.48 inches of rain fell, about 1.2 inches more than normal.

Darnley attributed the wet weeks to a low pressure system to the west of Pittsburgh combined with a high pressure system off the Gulf of Mexico.

“There's been a little conveyor belt of moisture coming up from Florida,” Darnley said. “Between the Atlantic and the Gulf, the moisture is converging on Pittsburgh.”

Darnley said he expects that there will be some relief from intermittent rains by the weekend.

Public works crews will be busy, Bell said, so drivers along Murrysville roads need to be careful when they see flaggers and workers.“Be careful,” Bell said. “Our guys out there are just doing their jobs to make your roadways safer. Drivers should just keep their eyes open and be careful.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 42-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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