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Twin Oaks landslide continues to worsen

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
The landslide that forced the closure of a section of Twin Oaks Drive in Murrysville earlier this year recently caused a tree to fall and is affecting others in the area.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
The landslide that forced the closure of a section of Twin Oaks Drive in Murrysville earlier this year recently caused a tree to fall and is affecting others in the area.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
Murrysville officials said they are waiting for the landslide along Twins Oaks Drive — which recently felled a tree in addition to this section of pavement — to settle before they begin work to stabilize the area.

First, it was the ground along Twin Oaks Drive and part of the road's asphalt. Now, it's the nearby trees.

Officials say a subterranean landslide that closed the Murrysville road to through traffic continues to worsen. Recently, a large tree near the slide toppled over the road, and several others in the area have become unstable.

About 130 feet of Twin Oaks Drive between Acorn Lane and Bridgewood Drive began to crumble in early April. Municipal engineer Joe Dietrick said an unstable geological formation, plus the way the road was built, contributed to the problem.

“It's definitely not done,” Dietrick said. “It's going to keep moving until it's happy.”

Dietrick said it would be cost prohibitive to try to restore the road to its preslide condition.

“It's so deep that a fix would be astronomical,” he said.

Chief administrator Jim Morrison, who attributed the slide to water washing part of the road away, said the best option for municipal officials is to convert the road into two cul-de-sacs. Officials plan to set aside $200,000 for the project over the next two years but said they don't know how much final repairs and alterations will cost.

Dietrick said he hopes that the road — which will remain closed between Acorn Lane and Bridgewood Drive — will settle enough that work can begin in 2014.

Rege Synan, Murrysville Council vice president, said there's no other option but to wait.

“Mother Nature wins sometimes.”

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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