WILKES-BARRE — PennDOT is encouraging the public to report potholes on state roads as it begins to make repairs.
With countless potholes appearing on area roadways following a winter and early spring with drastic temperature swings, PennDOT’s District 4 region is launching an intensive repair effort — nicknamed the “pothole blitz” — on state-owned roads in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
James May, district press officer for PennDOT, said with area asphalt plants just now beginning to open, the effort will run until the end of the month and aims to address at least 80 percent of the potholes reported.
May said the public can call 1-800-FIX-ROAD with specific locations. Reported potholes remaining after April 30 will be addressed as soon as possible, May said.
But the dilemma is not unique to state roads. In March, Wilkes-Barre City Public Works Director Butch Frati said this is the worst year the city has seen for potholes.
Conditions were so bad on Hillside Road in Shavertown that Bernie Banks, owner of American Asphalt, dispatched seven workers and paving equipment to Chase Corners and Hillside Road to fill potholes that he said were deep and plentiful.
Banks said Luzerne County gave approval, and the county provided all material and a truck to haul it plus two flaggers.
This year, May said PennDOT has also coordinated with local utility companies to ensure there is a cooperative effort in not only addressing potholes, but also ensuring that utility cuts are repaired as quickly as possible. To prioritize the repairs, PennDOT will follow its standard practice of addressing roadways based on traffic volume or safety impacts.
May said PennDOT crews across the state have been repairing potholes as weather permits, though dramatic temperature swings and available materials can affect how long repairs last.
To learn about how potholes form and how PennDOT addresses them, view the department’s “Pothole Patrol” video on its YouTube page.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.