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Rain compromises bank along Meridian Road

Vehicles on Meridian Road pass by in one lane after the bank along the road slid away from last weekend’s heavy rain on Friday in Penn Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

Last weekend’s heavy rain has caused an 8-foot bank to collapse on the side of Meridian Road in Penn Township, which led to the closure of a section of the southbound lane.

Mike Matis, Butler County manager at the state Department of Transportation's District 10, said on Friday that a stretch of Meridian Road about 100 feet long was blocked off by cones and a temporary stop sign was placed on either side of the closure.

Vehicles on Meridian Road pass by in one lane after the bank along the road slid away from last weekend’s heavy rain on Friday in Penn Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

Motorists must take turns circumventing the closure after stopping.

Matis said he was notified last weekend by the county 911 center that a section of the bank had given way beside Meridian Road at the bottom of the hill near the railroad tracks.

He said dispatchers requested PennDOT officials examine the situation to determine whether it was safe for traffic to use the road.

Matis said the section of road over the slide was blocked off as a precaution.

“There is nothing at the current time wrong with the road,” Matis said. “(The problem is) the bank beside it.”

He said PennDOT’s geotechnical team has been notified of the slide and will examine the situation in the next few weeks.

The team likely will take core samples to determine the condition of the soil beneath the road, then determine a course of action for the section of road, Matis said.

Matis did not know whether the Gennessee & Wyoming Railroad Services track near the slide had been impacted, but passersby reported seeing men working on the tracks earlier this week.

Matis said railroad workers may have cut trees at the site to clear the tracks, but he was not positive if that work took place.

Until the PennDOT geotechnical team can assess and determine which repairs are needed for the slide, Matis will not have a timeline as to how long the section of the southbound lane will be closed.

Motorists are asked to use caution in the area.

Vehicles on Meridian Road pass by in one lane after the bank along the road slid away from last weekend’s heavy rain on Friday in Penn Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle
Vehicles on Meridian Road pass by in one lane after the bank along the road slid away from last weekend’s heavy rain on Friday in Penn Township. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle