Wal-Mart is doing a landslide business in Kilbuck, Pennsylvania — literally. A report in the Tribune-Review today says that all lanes of Route 65 near a Wal-Mart construction site have been shut down, and a state transportation official said, “”It’s going to be a long time until this road is reopened. It’s still coming down. There’s trees, rocks, dirt sliding down. It’s not safe right now.” This same stretch of highway was closed for two days in late April, because construction crews working to clear land for a $28 million Wal-Mart shopping center used too many explosives, which caused the hillside to collapse, and a half-mile stretch of highway had to be closed. Wal-Mart’s developers had to pay for the first cleanup, and PennDOT says they will have to clean it up again. “We may assist in the interest of getting the road open again,”said a DOT official, “but they’re going to do the clean-up.” The construction on the roadway was necessary to accommodate the new Wal-Mart supercenter. The road has to be widened to add turning lanes into the supercenter. The firm that handled the explosives for the Wal-Mart detonated debris onto the roadway last April.
No road-widening in Kilbuck would have been needed if the community had approved a store in scale with the rest of this small community. But Wal-Mart needs wider aisles, and wider stores and wider roads to accommodate wider traffic. So they overdid it with their explosives, and now the hillside is sliding down onto the road. Just another example of mindless destruction of habitat to accommodate the insatiable concrete beast. Officials in Kilbuck are probably gritting their teeth and assuring voters that taxpayers will not bail Wal-Mart out for their “explosive” behavior. This is just Mother Nature’s way of delaying another Wal-Mart from coming online. For an earlier story on this town, search by “Kilbuck.”