Posts Tagged ‘Mount Washington Transit Tunnel’

Landslides Partly Close Pittsburgh Transit Tunnel

January 11, 2020

Portions of the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel in Pittsburgh were closed this week after storms led to runoffs that created landslides.

Officials with the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which operates the city’s light rail network, said they expect the tunnel to reopen in both directions on Monday morning.

The tunnel is used by light rail trains and Port Authority buses.

Since Tuesday only outbound trains and buses have been able to use the tunnel and they were confined to the inbound lanes.

During the closure trains have been rerouted to the dormant Allentown Line while buses have been detoured around the tunnel.

Officials said the landslides have blocked the exits from the tunnel of the outbound lanes.

The landslides occurred below Paul Street.

Port Authority spokesman Adam Brandolph said on Friday that workers are removing trees and vegetation from the hillside and rocks and dirt from the landslide site.

Workers from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will need to repair a sewer damaged by the landslide, but buses and trains can use the tunnel during that work.

Officials have said a faulty sewer drain was the cause of the landslides because storm water was unable to drain into the sewer system and instead cascades down the hillside.

“There’s an ongoing problem with drainage from Paul Street on Mount Washington,” Brandolph said. “We will not be fully reopening the tunnel until our engineers can review the hillside and we are sure it is safe to do so.”

Because trains on the Allentown line don’t stop at Station Square, the Port Authority is running shuttle buses from Station Square to the First Avenue station for riders who normally ride inbound from there.