CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (CBS) — A popular alternative to the Schuylkill Expressway, between Gulph Mills and Conshocken remains closed, more than a year after a mudslide poured debris on the road surface.
The repairs are complicated, not only by court battles over who is responsible, but also by the death of a property-owner in a plane crash back in August.
Balligomingo Road was closed in June, 2015.
West Conshohocken Borough solicitor Joe McGrory says the mudslide was caused by an improperly constructed — and unpermitted parking lot– at a business at the top of the hill, and repairs are delayed by multiple lawsuits involving that property.
He says the borough estimates the fix would cost $1.2 million, not only more than West Conshocken can afford, but also, “We can’t go in and fix this person’s parking lot because it’s private property and we can’t use tax payer funds to enhance someone’s private property.”
Complicating matters, the owner of the property, Ira Seligman, was killed in a plane crash in western Pennsylvania in August.
Balligomingo is a state road, but PennDOT says they can’t just clear the debris and re-open the road, as the hillside remains unstable, and the area that needs to be fixed is outside their right of way.