Landslide costs add to PennDOT’s funding challenges |

Landslide costs add to PennDOT’s funding challenges

Patrick Varine
Tribune-Review file
A landslide closed a portion of Freeport Road between the New Kensington Bridge and Riddle Run Road on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.

In a typical year, PennDOT officials budget about $30 million for flooding and landslide damage.

In 2018, they spent $127 million fixing that damage, according to PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards.

Richards, along with Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, mentioned the landslides last week while discussing more than $4 billion from the state’s Motor License Fund used in areas other than transportation projects.

“In southwestern Pennsylvania, in particular, that money could go toward the repair of landslides,” DePasquale said. “Right now, PennDOT doesn’t have the money they need to make the necessary repairs for some of these horrific slides.”

As of last week, there were 280 active landslide locations in PennDOT’s District 12 alone, according to PennDOT Press Secretary Alexis Campbell.

Seven major slide locations are currently slated for repair at a cost of roughly $7 million.

“Additional costs to repair remaining inventory of slides is in excess of $100 million,” Campbell wrote in an email.

There are seven closures and 42 lane restrictions in place across the district due to slides. Campbell estimated those repair costs at about $30 million.

“We’re hopeful that last year was an anomaly, but we fear that it may be the new norm,” Richards said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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