Blasting briefly closing Route 19 in South Strabane

September 23, 2013

South Strabane police are briefly closing Route 19 twice a day while construction workers perform blasting work in preparation for construction of the mixed-use Meadows Landing development.

The blasting has caused minor traffic delays in both directions of Route 19 between Manifold and Davis School roads as police cruisers have blocked cars from using the main thoroughfare during blasting for the past week.

South Strabane Township Manager John Stickle is not sure how much longer the blasting will continue but doesn’t expect it to last much longer.

“They haven’t given us an exact time frame,” Stickle said of the blasting. “My understanding is that it shouldn’t be much longer because they’re just working on that rock there.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Sept. 16 for Meadows Landing, where Washington Health System plans to build an outpatient center on the 204-acre lot next to Route 19. It’s the first phase of the development that is expected to also include the Washington Area Teachers Federal Credit Union and a GetGo gasoline station and convenience store. There are long-range plans to add a strip mall with 35,000 square feet of space among other businesses on the site.

Stickle said Wampum Hardware Co. in New Galilee is contracted by the developer to perform the blasting work. Wampum and the developer, Meadows Landing Associates, received an active blasting permit from the state and erected temporary signs to inform passing motorists of the work.

The blasting happens in the morning and afternoon, Stickle said.

“I think the stoppage of the traffic is just for safety, and it’s not for very long,” Stickle said. “After the blasting, they bring in heavy equipment and remove the heavy rock. Then they put in new charges for the next round.”

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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