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Rock Slide Road Cleanup, Repair Enters Home Stretch

Thu September 23, 2021 - Northeast Edition #20
Brenda Ruggiero – CEG Correspondent


Final work continues in the area of a major rockslide that occurred in June in Henry Clay Township in Pennsylvania near the border of Fayette and Somerset counties.
Final work continues in the area of a major rockslide that occurred in June in Henry Clay Township in Pennsylvania near the border of Fayette and Somerset counties.
Final work continues in the area of a major rockslide that occurred in June in Henry Clay Township in Pennsylvania near the border of Fayette and Somerset counties. The slide on Route 40 near the Youghiogheny River Lake occurred at 8:24 p.m. on June 24, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The road remained closed from June 24 to Aug. 13. Additional work is still occurring to erect a rock fall wall. The prime contractor for the job is Swank Construction, with Darian Glitz, PennDOT assistant construction engineer (ACE), is in charge of the project.

Final work continues in the area of a major rockslide that occurred in June in Henry Clay Township in Pennsylvania near the border of Fayette and Somerset counties.

The slide on Route 40 near the Youghiogheny River Lake occurred at 8:24 p.m. on June 24, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Jay Ofsanik. The slide covered both lanes of the road with trees rocks and dirt just west of the Yough Lake Bridge.

Ofsanik reported that the incident was caused by "differential weathering of the geologic members present at the site, which are under investigation."

The slide was approximately 300 linear ft. in length and 160 ft. in elevation change. He reported that roughly 50,000 cu. yds. of material was removed.

"The work involved removing trees, rocks and debris from Route 40 and accessing the hillside with heavy equipment to remove loose soil and debris to get to stabilize the hillside," Ofsanik said.

The road remained closed from June 24 to Aug. 13. Additional work is still occurring to erect a rock fall wall.

During the closure, a detour of approximately 16 mi. used Route 281 to Confluence, Pa., to Route 523 and back to Route 40.

"The biggest challenge was sheer scope of the slide area and amount of material that needed to be removed to stabilize the hillside," Ofsanik said.

He reported that the full scope of the project involved removal of the debris on the roadway and removal of material to stabilize the hillside.

"The area of Route 40 below the slide was paved and new guiderail installed on the westbound side and concrete barriers on the eastbound side," Ofsanik said. "A 15-foot rock fall wall is currently being erected on the eastbound side of Route 40."

The prime contractor for the job is Swank Construction, with Darian Glitz, PennDOT assistant construction engineer (ACE) is in charge of the project.

Subcontractors include El Grande for asphalt paving and The U Company for guide rail and Parking Lot Paving for line striping.

The project involved Kobelco 400 excavators, a Komatsu dozer and triaxles. CEG




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