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PennDOT monitoring large sinkhole along Route 51 in Rostraver | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

PennDOT monitoring large sinkhole along Route 51 in Rostraver

Renatta Signorini
| Wednesday, March 6, 2019 11:34 a.m
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Sue McFarland | Tribune-Review
A sinkhole sits along Route 51 on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Rostraver.
841960_web1_gtr-Route51Sinkhole03
Sue McFarland | Tribune-Review
A sinkhole sits along Route 51 on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Rostraver.
841960_web1_gtr-Route51Sinkhole01
Sue McFarland | Tribune-Review
A sinkhole sits along Route 51 on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Rostraver.
841960_web1_gtr-Route51Sinkhole02
Sue McFarland | Tribune-Review
A sinkhole sits along Route 51 on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Rostraver.

PennDOT crews are monitoring a large sinkhole in a gas station parking lot along Route 51 in Rostraver.

The crater is on private property, said PennDOT spokeswoman Valerie Petersen.

“We do know that it’s close to the road,” she said.

The sinkhole has been growing over the last eight years, more rapidly so in the past year with record-setting wet weather across the region, said township manager Jeff Keffer. It is the result of a dispute between neighboring property owners over a stormwater pipe that collapsed in 2011.

The collapsed pipe and sinkhole are on separate properties — one owned by a Belle Vernon man and the other owned by a local company — near the Interstate 70 and Route 51 interchange.

“They can’t agree as to who is responsible for how much,” Keffer said.

The township had been acting as a mediator between the two, but the last meeting was 18 months to two years ago, Keffer said. Officials are not aware of any movement in the dispute. They have not received any applications for permits to fix the problem, he said. The pipe does not belong to the township.

“The sinkhole thing has been a major issue,” he said.

The sinkhole is near a BFS convenience store, Sunoco gas station, a Burger King restaurant and Farnham & Pfile Construction Company. It appears large enough to hold a small school bus or several vehicles.

Pavement around the hole appears to be cracking. It is blocked off by orange cones and caution tape. Business there has not been affected.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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