WILLIAMS TWP., Pa. - Industrial Drive finally reopened Thursday, after being closed since mid-March because of a landslide of trash at the Chrin Brothers landfill in Williams Township, Northampton County.
Industrial Drive was off-limits to drivers after 12 to 13 acres of garbage slid about 80 feet down the hill. The road was closed nine months ago in case it would happen again.
The state Department of Environmental Protection still is working to determine what caused the landslide.
"They're going through layers and layers of garbage, and ground, and dirt, and mud to try and determine what caused the ground to give way," explained Colleen Connolly, DEP spokesperson.
"We want to make sure we look at all issues and all factors of what could have caused it before we reach our final determination."
Officials said the material that slid down the side of the landfill damaged pipes and methane wells before landing near Industrial Drive.
For most of this year, the closing has caused the bottom line to suffer at Pop's Kitchen, which has been serving customers on Industrial Drive for 18 years.
"It hurt, it did hurt," said Fred Crivellaro, co-owner of the family-run business. "This has cut my morning traffic down to almost zero."
Thursday's reopening of the road was a pleasant surprise for Crivellaro. "As I was coming to work I saw that the sign was down. I just was happy."
In a statement, the landfill's operators said they regret any inconvenience the road closure caused, explaining: "Our top priority throughout has been the safety of all those directly and indirectly involved."
Local, state and federal authorities have been working with Chrin to investigate.
"At this point, we are just keeping an eye on it until people can start determining what the root cause is," said George Washburn, chairman of the Williams Township board of supervisors.
"We're happy it's back open," said Washburn. "And trust me, the township residents are happy that it's back open."
That includes the workers at Pop's Kitchen. They're hopeful business will pick back up.
"I'm happy we're finally open again," said Crivellaro. " I want to welcome back my morning customers."
Allentown, PA 18102