WILKES-BARRE — PennDOT is moving ahead with accelerated repaving contracts after applying more than 109,000 tons of patching material and improving more than 1,000 miles of roadway through July to deal with the widespread outbreak of potholes after a long and destructive winter season.
“PennDOT has accelerated its work to repair potholes and resurface roads after a difficult winter, but more work is required, and our paving contracts are aimed at shoring up pavements to better resist pothole formation,” said Gov. Tom Wolf in a press release. “With 40,000 miles of road to maintain, PennDOT faces a tough challenge fixing every pavement problem, but its crews have worked tirelessly to address the problems.”
Under the Resurface PA initiative, PennDOT has mounted an aggressive campaign to repave interstates and attack potholes. The program calls for an additional $7 million being invested in seven interstate maintenance projects covering potholes and other repairs on 78 miles of roads this year. In addition, these additional investments are planned:
• $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.
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. An additional 85 interstate projects covering more than 775 miles are underway or expected to begin or finish this year.
A significant part of the work is being financed using savings from other projects since Wolf took office.
Examples of some of the paving contracts that are in process or design:
• From I‐380 to Route 115, 10 miles in Monroe County.
• About 4 miles in Luzerne County and then from the Luzerne County line to the Monroe County line, 26 miles in Carbon County.
• From the Luzerne County line to Mile Marker 185.5 in Lackawanna County, including bridge work, for a total of 7 miles.
• 28 miles in Luzerne County, from Sugar Notch to Avoca.
• Interchange area with Interstate 81, between Exits 185 and 186 on I-81 and from I-81 to Exit 2 on I-84 in Lackawanna County, for a total of 7 miles.
• From the Monroe County line to Interstate 84, 15 miles in Lackawanna County.
• From Interstate 80 to Route 940, 5.1 miles in Monroe County.
Meanwhile, repairs have already been made so far this year on these state roads in Luzerne County: Routes 11, 29, 115, 118, 239, 307, 309, 315, 415, 437, 615, 924, and 940. There has also been work on 77 secondary routes.
Pothole numbers double
The number of pothole concerns reported to PennDOT this year climbed to 15,154 through the end of July compared to 7,261 in 2017 and 4,135 in 2016. The investment in pothole repairs totaled $41 million through July and an additional $31 million in repairs is planned through October. This is in addition to the Resurface PA contracted paving.
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).
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.