Mother nature stepped in this week in Pittsburgh and prompted a writer for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette to muse: Longtime opponents of River Pointe Plaza and a Wal-Mart Supercenter at the old Dixmont State Hospital site in Kilbuck may have won by a landslide.
What Joe Grata is talking about is a small mountain of dirt that slid off the side of of a development project and buried Route 65 and the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks that ran along the site’s perimeter.
According to the Grata:
The 500,000 to 600,000 cubic yards of earth and stone that cascaded down the hill … overnight Tuesday will cost Pittsburgh-based ASC Development Inc., Kilbuck Properties LP, contractor Chevy Chase Construction and other parties a whole lot more time and money than the $28 million they figured it would take to build the shopping plaza.
This is the second time the project has closed the highway which carries some 22,000 vehicles every day, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
In addition to repairing all the damage and compensating all the parties in volved for lost time and revenues, the developer may lose a vital highway occupancy permit, something that a group fighting the building of the Wal Mart Supercenter had sought from the beginning, wrote Grata.
Wal Mart needs the permit because the developer is widening the road and adding turning lanes into the proposed shopping center.
This time it may be engineering and nature that forces Wal Mart to look elsewhere.