WILKES-BARRE TWP. – A repair scheduled this week to an underground washout on East Northampton allayed township officials' concerns the problem would get worse.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be on the site near the intersection with Watson Street Wednesday and Thursday.
James May, spokesman for PennDOT's District 4-0 office in Dunmore, said Friday that crews will work on a 150-foot section of pipe causing the washout. The pipe is old and rusted and leaking underneath, he said.
One lane of the two-lane roadway will be shut down while the repairs are made.
The township can deal with a couple of days of traffic delays while the public safety issue is addressed.
We're all in support of rectifying the situation, John J. Jablowski Jr., council member, said.
The washout, first noticed a year ago, is a priority and then the township can resolve the long-term and larger issue of upgrading the more than 100-year-old sewer lines. Township officials estimated the cost of repairing collapsed lines at $1.2 million and asked for help from the state to pay for the work.
Jablowski, Mayor Carl Kuren, and Business Administrator Mike Revit last week met with state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Twp., and toured the East Northampton site and other locations where sewer line repairs are needed.
There's no question it's a serious issue, Yudichak said of the East Northampton Street washout.
Elsewhere in the township, the storm and sanitary lines require upgrades, he added, and funding was an issue.
Whether it's a bridge or road project, we need to be making investments in infrastructure, Yudichak said.
He promised to work toward finding money for the longer term problems and looked to the Local Share Assessment Account as a possible source. A percentage of the money bet at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino in Plains Township funds the account. Municipalities apply for the money for community and economic development projects.
Jablowski said the township is in the process of preparing an application for the LSA money.