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Shopping-center owners awaiting DEP approval on sinkhole solution

| Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 11:25 a.m.
A massive sinkhole in the Monroeville Hills Shopping Center on William Penn Highway awaits a resolution.
Photo by Lillian DeDomenic
A massive sinkhole in the Monroeville Hills Shopping Center on William Penn Highway awaits a resolution. Photo by Lillian DeDomenic

Grass is growing in a massive sinkhole at the Monroeville Hills Shopping Center on William Penn Highway, and there's nothing the municipality can do about it.

Property owners are awaiting approval from the Department of Environmental Protection to move forward with a long-term solution, said Paul Hugus, director of the building and engineering department in Monroeville.

It's estimated the project will be completed by the end of October, but it could take longer, Hugus said.

"Getting an answer from the DEP on a time limit ... it's not going to happen," he said.

The pavement gave way in September, due to issues with a nearby water line.

The project has blocked a through way to the shopping center and is forcing drivers to make illegal left turns on to Old William Penn Highway.

Councilwoman Lois Drumheller - who lives near the shopping center - suggested that property owners add lighting nearby "for a better line of sight moving out of that shopping area."

Robert Glimcher, owner of the Glimcher Group, which owns the property, did not return phone calls.

Residents have asked for a stop sign on Old William Penn Highway, where cars are making illegal turns.

A stop sign would require a traffic study and an ordinance, Hugus said.

Once the work is completed, it would be nearly impossible to remove the stop sign, he said.

"You can't unring that bell," Hugus said.

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