Statewide ‘Resurface PA’ initiative begins
HARRISBURG — Following a long winter season with dramatic temperature swings, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that PennDOT is mounting an aggressive campaign to accelerate repaving work on interstates and attack potholes across Pennsylvania as part of a Resurface PA initiative. A significant part of the work will be financed using savings from other projects since Wolf took office.
“PennDOT has been at work on this problem for many months, but the severe temperature swings through the winter have created ideal conditions for continued pavement challenges,” Wolf said. “We are further increasing our focus on pothole repairs and also accelerating much-needed work on our interstates.”
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 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.
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, 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.
“We have improved thousands of miles of roadway in the past three years and we continue to battle potholes across the state each year,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “These investments will address much-needed repairs and preserve several stretches of interstate.”
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.
With Pennsylvania’s aggressive freeze-thaw cycle, roadways will always experience potholes. PennDOT crews are working vigorously to repair pothole damage on nearly 40,000 miles of state-owned roadway, addressing higher traffic roadways first and working on others as soon as possible. Earlier repairs were temporary because long-lasting asphalt is not available until the weather warms and asphalt plants open operations.
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 (800) 349-7623). In addition to the potholes addressed through continued monitoring by PennDOT crews, more than 12,365 pothole concerns have been reported to PennDOT and more than 96 percent were addressed through May 21.
Motorists are asked to be as specific as possible when providing locations of maintenance concerns. Motorists should report the county, municipality, street name, and state route number, which can be found on small black and white signs posted along state highways. In addition, a description of any familiar landmarks would be helpful for PennDOT to locate the problem area.
Maintenance concerns will be corrected as soon as possible. Emergency road repairs, such as road wash-outs, are handled on a top-priority basis.
The 1-800-FIX-ROAD number should not be used to report traffic accidents, disabled vehicles or other emergencies. Motorists should continue to call 911 to report these types of emergencies.