HONESDALE—As earlier reported, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) met with local state, county and township officials last Friday to discuss its plans for the remainder of the 2017 construction season.
Among the most costly repairs set to be accomplished by the close of the season are slide repairs.
These become necessary when loose dirt along the edges and undersides of roadways slide out – usually next to a river or steeply sloped area – and begin to collapse the infrastructure's periphery.
General concern about this type of road failure was prevalent from all present, with Damascus Township Supervisor Steve Adams stating “This is a very serious problem.”
Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111) inquired at the meeting about the number of slide repairs set in the county, stating that the area's topography lends itself to this type of road failure.
PennDOT District 4 Assistant District Executive for Maintenance Dennis Giordano replied that Wayne County has over 20 such slides in need of repair.
PennDOT District 4 Maintenance Manager Mitchell Simon stated that there are two distinct sites on Rout 191 in the northern part of the county (Buckingham Township), featuring around eight different areas where the road has slid out along the edge.
The cost to repair these is $7.3 million.
“The issue you get,” stated Simon, “is … you're not gonna see anything on the top side of this, [the work is] all underground.”
He later elaborated, saying that the public often is unaware about how much underground road structures cost and it can upset them to hear about money being spent without seeing so tangible a result as a new road or installation on the surface.
“We really do try to put as much as we can on the road,” he said.
Simon mentioned another slide repair on Milanville Road quoted at $2.2 million and one on state route 4014 Maple Grove Road, quoted at $3 million.
Other slide repair listed for the season, though not discussed at the meeting, are on the Owego Turnpike in Palmyra Township and the Crosstown Highway.
In addition to slide repairs, PennDOT has several bridge replacements and base and edge repairs scheduled for the 2017 construction season as well.
Those, along with a proposed maintenance schedule will each be discussed in greater detail in a future edition.