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Menoher Boulevard Landslide Update

Last night’s landslide on a Johnstown-area hillside saw trees, utility poles and wires falling to the ground, forcing road closures.

Penndot was at the scene Wednesday night to get an initial assessment, but for an investigation into the cause and potential fix to the issues, the more it rains, the more we may have to wait.

In February 2018, a landslide on a hillside beside Menoher Boulevard, after heavy rain, loosened the dirt, causing dirt, rocks and trees to fall down the hill.

The landslide took out a house that time, with officials fixing that part of the embankment.

On Wednesday night, it happened again.

Officials say the embankment slid about 25 feet straight down, not quite underneath Menoher Boulevard, but right at the edge of the road, according to Penndot.

An official with Penelec says they are working to replace the utility poles that were knocked over, as two large trees fell from the hillside, pulling down wires.

Barnett Street, which sits below the hillside, is still closed and all lanes of Menoher, except for the lane closest to the guard rail are open.

Penndot says it may stay that way until an investigation is able to be done.

“As far as Penndot goes, safety is always our first priority, and as we work to clear debris or open or close a roadway in situations like this, we always assess the safety for motorists as well as the people living nearby,”

A Penelec worker was on scene Thursday reporting that the dirt is loose, and the hillside is destabilized.

Penndot officials say they believe having the one lane closed is making Menoher safe for drivers, but when asked if a landslide could happen there again, they said “In situations with heavy rain and flooding, there’s always the potential for unforeseen damage, damage that we don’t anticipate.”

Authorities say there is no exact timetable for when the investigation will be done by Penndot, and they say they are in the early stages.

“Once the rain stops, and the flood water recedes, and the ground dries, we’ll be able to get in there and take a closer look at exactly what we’ll need to do to repair that as well as how long it will take,”

While Menoher Boulevard is a state road, Barnett Street is a township road that is half in Southmont Borough and half in the city of Johnstown, according to Johnstown city manager Ethan Imhoff.

Thus, he says the city is working with Penndot on this matter and will look for approval from Penndot before opening Barnett Street back up.

For updated road closures, traffic incidents, and construction info visit the 511PA website.

No timetable was given for when the roads could reopen

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