Recent storms wash away more of heavily-traveled road in Beaver County

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — The recent storms washed away more of an evacuation route in Beaver County. Neighbors say it is continuing to deteriorate.

Kelly McCaffrey called 9-1-1 last winter to report the condition of Barclay Hill Road. Over the weekend, as she and her neighbors watched the water rush down and cascade over the hillside, those fears resurfaced.

“When it started falling, it’s just not stopping,” said Kristy Baker. “It’s continuing more and more and my fear is, just like Kelly had said, somebody comes up here in a semi because they have to reroute traffic. Something’s going to give way at some point.”

Jon Smorada also lives on Barclay Hill Road. He says about 10,500 drivers use the road each month.

“It’s heavily traveled,” said Smorada. “This is an evacuation route for the nuclear power plant and also a reliever road for Route 68 in case there’s a problem with the closure they route all the traffic up this road including 18-wheelers. Big vehicles. So it’s kind of important that the road be in good shape.”

Besides large trucks and cars, school buses also travel this road every day. McCaffrey’s kids’ bus passes the section of the road that’s falling down the hillside.

“Multiple roads in the neighborhood that these school buses have to go in horrible conditions,” said McCaffrey. “It’s dangerous. It’s scary.”

PennDot put cones and signs up in February. Kristy Baker shared pictures with us of what it looked like back then.

“My fear right now is that history is going to repeat itself, and somebody is going to get killed,” said Baker. “Please come out here and fix our roads.”

PennDot District 11 gave the following statement to Channel 11:

“PennDOT District 11 currently has over 100 active geohazards in Allegheny, Beaver, and Lawrence Counties. The Design and Construction cost to repair all of these geohazards would be approximately $75 Million. The District must prioritize this landslide on Barclay Hill Road along with the other 100+ locations in District 11 based upon funding, traffic volume, restrictions, surrounding impacts, repair type, and other factors. The plan of action to address this particular site has not been fully identified because the scope of work for the repair is extensive and the estimated cost for this repair is upwards of $1 Million. The roadway has been restricted down to a single lane with alternating stop signs, and the Department will continue to monitor this landslide location and modify the traffic restrictions as necessary. Maintenance personnel will be checking to see if the weekend storms have worsened the condition of the roadway.”