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PennDOT continues assessing problems on Hunter Road in Penn Hills

| Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3:27 p.m.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
What was once a relatively benign dip in Hunter Road has become a large crack, making the road impassable.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
A sizable crack has forced the closure of Hunter Road between Barger and Colorado streets. PennDOT re-closed the road in mid-May, after earlier repairs did not take.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
Above, a sizable crack running diagonally down Hunter Road has kept the road closed since mid-May.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
Rocks and debris collect in a large crack along Hunter Road (State Route 2080).
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
The crack has caused the western side of the road to drop several inches.

Bob Young is ready for Hunter Road to be repaired, open and drivable.

“I lock up a building in Oakmont every night, and it used to be a 15-minute trip,” he said. “Run down the hill, check the building and come right back.”

Young said the trip now takes 30 minutes because of persistent problems on Hunter Road (State Route 2080), which connects Hamil Road to Allegheny River Boulevard and is a well-traveled route into Oakmont. The road becomes Plum Street as it crosses over the municipality's northern border.

It was initially closed in April, between Barger and Colorado streets, to repair what PennDOT officials deemed drainage problems.

“There was a big dip there all winter, but they fixed it, and we thought it was all right,” said Young, who lives up the hill from the closure. “Then a few weeks later, the cracks were back.”

PennDOT re-closed the road in mid-May, and it has remained impassable.

“That's a pretty big inconvenience, because I (drove the road) every night,” Young said. “Right now it's about a five- or six-mile round trip. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when you do it every day, it adds up.”

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said work crews are still assessing the situation to determine how to proceed. Drilling took place July 7 to determine the material that comprised a small rock- and landslide along the damaged section of Hunter.

Cowan said that should help PennDOT's geotechnical crews decide how best to repair the damage.

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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