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Pipe fixes touted as solution to Banksville flood woes

| Friday, July 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Repairs around a collapsed pipe along Banksville Road should prevent flooding and road closures, a PennDOT official said.

PennDOT crews continued working on Thursday to remove the collapsed portion of the privately owned pipe and dig a ditch between the remaining pipe and PennDOT's stormwater system, said Steve Cowan, an agency spokesman.

Crews will line the ditch with rocks and build a barrier between the ditch and Banksville Road.

Cowan expected work will be complete by the weekend, when showers are predicted to return.

“We anticipate the fix will work,” Cowan said. “But with a pipe failure in the past, we're not sure if it will fail again upstream.”

The pipe lies on private property, and it is the owner's responsibility to fix it, Cowan said.

PennDOT officials met Wednesday with Ahan Hospitality, the owner of the property where the pipe failed, but did not reach an agreement to fix the problem, Cowan said. If the owner refuses to fix the pipe, the state can do it and bill the owner.

Ahan Hospitality did not return calls for comment.

Flooding closed Banksville Road at Crane Avenue twice during heavy rain this week and on July 10. About 25,000 commuters use Banksville Road each day, records show.

PennDOT acknowledged it knew the collapsed pipe and blocked stormwater culvert caused Banksville Road to flood after the July 10 storm but did not try to remedy the problem until Wednesday.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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