2011-05-19 / Local & State

Rock Slide Closes Busy Rural Western Pa. Highway

VESTABURG, Pa. (AP) – A rock slide including boulders the size of cars has indefinitely closed a busy highway in rural southwestern Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials tell KDKA-TV they got a call about the slide earlier Monday. It had reportedly covered one side of the two lane stretch of Route 88 in Vestaburg, Washington County. But by the time crews arrived, they found both lanes blocked by boulders, dirt and other debris that fell from the hillside.

PennDOT is asking companies that use nearby railroad tracks to have their freight trains travel as slower speeds. They’re hoping that will reduce ground vibrations that could shake even more rocks loose, and say is could take weeks to fix the problem.

Officials believe recent heavy rains are to blame for the erosion that led to the slide about 35 miles south of Pittsburgh.

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