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Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores has given up on building a suburban hilltop store near Pittsburgh, the company announced Wednesday. A massive landslide last year closed a busy highway near the construction site for two weeks.
Wal-Mart said in a statement that it will return the hilltop in Kilbuck Township “to a predevelopment, natural sloping condition that includes trees and vegetation.”
Officials from Wal-Mart and the state Department of Environmental Protection met Tuesday to discuss the revised plan. In August, the department said Wal-Mart's stabilization plan for the site was incomplete. Wal-Mart has been trying to devise a plan that would stabilize the hillside to prevent another landslide.
Part of the site gave way in September 2006, sending some 500,000 cubic yards of dirt and debris onto Route 65 and railway tracks below. One lane of the highway, a major artery to Pittsburgh's western suburbs, remains closed.
"We're happy to see that Wal-Mart has chosen to put the safety of the community first and we look forward to receiving the company's revised stabilization plan," the state department's regional director, Kenneth Bowman, said in a statement.