Weather blamed for N. Strabane motel delay

February 21, 2013

Wintry weather is the reason construction on the Holiday Inn Express is on hold in North Strabane Township, a spokesman with the development company said Thursday.

“As soon as the weather allows us, we will resume work,” said Jerry Hamerski of Double J Development of Morgantown, W.Va. “Weather halted work about a month ago. We can’t get on site because of the rain and cold and such.”

Township manager Frank Siffrinn said Wednesday he had been told by municipal officials that construction was on hiatus after workers drilling for the foundation hit “a void.”

This delay, Hamerski acknowledged, will likely push back the opening date of the 87-room, limited-service Holiday Inn Express motel. Late 2013 was the target for completion, but he said “that probably will go into next year. We were hoping to have this under construction by now.”

When construction resumes, workers will begin by filling in a depression where there was a mine, Hamerski said.

“The site has to have concrete pumped in to shore it up.”

He said Double J knew going into the project that “the area had issues,” and that the delay “does not necessarily” add to the cost of the project.

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

Siffrinn said Wednesday he wasn’t sure why there was a void, speculating it could be the remains of a mine that had existed there or perhaps an underground spring.

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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