North Strabane motel project halted

February 20, 2013

The Holiday Inn Express project off Racetrack Road is on hold.

Frank Siffrinn, North Strabane Township manager, said construction was halted recently when workers hit a void in the ground while drilling for the foundation. He isn’t sure what caused the void.

Township supervisors addressed the situation Tuesday at their monthly meeting.

“It doesn’t appear to be a major issue,” Siffrinn said, adding that the depression may be the result of “an underground spring or mining that occurred years ago.”

The motel is being built just inside the entrance to Meadowlands Business Park, which was constructed on top of old mine sites. Many mines in the region were not charted when they were built decades ago and sometimes are uncovered when new construction occurs.

Siffrinn said he doesn’t believe the remediation will result in a lengthy delay but likely will increase the cost of the project.

The motel was targeted to open late this year.

Construction began in mid-December; Siffrinn could not give a specific date for when it was halted, saying it was “recently.” Double J Development of Morgantown, W.Va., is in charge of the project. Company spokesman Jerry Hamerski could not be reached for comment.

The site for the 87-room Holiday Inn Express, Siffrinn said, may indicate that mining is the culprit in this land issue and, if so, remediation should be long term.

“That whole area had been undermined. The industrial park had all been undermined.

“I can’t say what the remediation process consists of, but (the problem) can be addressed and overcome because the business park was fully developed.”

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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