Butler Pike closed until 2021 after widespread sinkhole issues

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (WPVI) -- Bad news for those who travel in the area around Butler Pike. Officials say they are going to fix the roadway once and for all, but it's going to take until 2021.

The news comes as a big shock to anyone who uses Butler Pike between Flourtown and Plymouth roads and Germantown Pike. Motorists have been dealing with road closures and detours since August because of a bad sinkhole.

But late Thursday, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners sent a press release reporting that new sinkholes had developed around an active Norfolk Southern railroad bridge and that it made it unsafe to reopen the road anytime soon. People have been having to take detours.

"It's really inconvenient cause even my son's school we can't just cut through, we have to go all the way around and there's traffic everywhere," said EV Aslamova of Plymouth.

Now comes word from the commissioners that it will take 18 months just to come up with a design before permanent road reconstruction can begin. That will take not months, but years.

"Are you serious?" asked Bud McDermott of Blue Bell. "Where do we go from here?" asked his wife Sally Ann.

People say there's already a lot of congestion as it is because of all the new development in the area. New townhomes, apartments and businesses.

"Because of the new development, they're just adding people, look at the cars coming down here now," said Dragone.

We should point out that there is a high-pressure natural gas pipeline that runs through the area where the sinkholes are happening in addition to a sanitary sewer line, PECO power lines and Verizon telecommunication lines. The procedures necessary to maintain the safety of those utilities while excavation and construction are underway are extensive.

The commissioners say, "The need to protect public safety precludes temporarily reopening Butler Pike to traffic."
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