Wolf continues rollout of statewide initiative to attack potholes

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]
With the release of new state funding, it’s hoped that potholes like this one on West River Street are soon repaired. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Gov. Tom Wolf is continuing his aggressive campaign to attack potholes across Pennsylvania.

Wolf and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni discussed the details of Resurface PA, the administration’s new statewide initiative to accelerate repaving work on interstates and attack potholes across Pennsylvania.

“This is a problem that plagues Pennsylvanians every year, but after this winter season we are accelerating repairs and much-needed projects to improve travel in the short-term and in the future,” Wolf said. “Resurface PA is a new program that my administration created to speed up the process of road repairs, while also extending our reach to roads and highways through the state that we would not have been able to reach in a regular maintenance year.”

Following a long winter season with dramatic temperature swings, last week the governor announced that PennDOT is mounting an aggressive campaign to accelerate repaving work on interstates and attack potholes. A significant part of the work will be financed using savings from other projects since the governor took office.

Wolf directed PennDOT to dedicate as many resources as possible to pothole and pavement repairs. The department has prioritized $22.3 million for immediate pothole repairs statewide through June 30, which translates into nearly 30,000 tons of patching material. An additional $7 million will be invested in seven interstate maintenance projects covering potholes and other repairs on 78 miles of roads this year.

Of that, $5.6 million worth of work is planned in PennDOT’s District 4, which covers Luzerne, Lackawanna, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties, agency spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt said. One of the projects that has been accelerated is a resurfacing and bridge preservation project on I-81 covering 40.4 miles in Luzerne County.

Other new investments to help address the effects of this year’s particularly long and difficult winter include:

• $30 million in transportation infrastructure investment funding for interstate improvements.

• $60 million in PennDOT investments from interstate-project bid savings being reinvested in resurfacing.

• $62 million in additional funding for interstate preservation projects.

Together, Wolf said these commitments will make 17 interstate paving and preservation projects covering 255 miles happen at least two years sooner than scheduled, with projects beginning this year and next year. These accelerated projects, which will preserve the pavement surfaces for at least five to six years, build on the 85 interstate projects covering more than 775 miles that are underway or expected to begin or finish this year.

Through the end of April, PennDOT crews had used nearly 23,000 tons of asphalt repairing potholes statewide, equal to the weight of roughly 1,500 PennDOT dump trucks. In comparison, by the same time in 2017, PennDOT had used 15,418 tons of asphalt and 14,673 tons in 2016. PennDOT has spent more than $17 million on pothole repairs statewide through the end of April this year.

Motorists can report potholes and other highway-maintenance concerns on state routes at www.customercare.penndot.gov or by calling PennDOT’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623).

With the release of new state funding, it’s hoped that potholes like this one on West River Street are soon repaired.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL060118Pothole1.cmyk_.jpgWith the release of new state funding, it’s hoped that potholes like this one on West River Street are soon repaired. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.