WAYNE COUNTY—The Wayne County Planning Commission presented its annual report to the Board of Commissioners last Thursday, March 1.

At such time, Planning Director Craig Rickard noted the last in a series of bridges repaired through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Rapid Bridge Replacement (RBR) program will be completed this year.

Located in Oregon Township, that bridge spans Big Brook Creek on Route 191.

“It was supposed to start last year,” said Rickard. “They originally were gonna shut 191 down, but we talked to PennDOT and said 'that's not gonna be a good decision there.'”

Rickard noted the proposed truck detour route would have been 30 miles long.

“So what I learned is you gotta pick your poison,” he added, explaining that going down to partial-width construction and leaving one lane open for travel would be more beneficial, even at the cost of extending construction time.

Route 191 saw two other bridge replacements scheduled in 2017; the Fair Avenue Bridge over Dyberry Creek in Hoensdale and the bridge over Manny Run in Dreher Township each received attention last year.

Additionally, the Planning Report notes repairs were made to bridges along Routes 296, 371, 652, 1018, 3004, 3019, 3046 and 4037.

Likewise, the planning report notes Hoensdale Borough replaced the pedestrian bridge at the southernmost end of Court Street.

Road improvements

The annual report notes there were 83 miles of State Route Surface Improvements scheduled for 2017.

Of that total, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) performed just over 20 miles of base edge repair along Calkins, Rutledgedale and Beech Grove roads.

There was also just shy of 15 miles of roadway paved on Smith Hill, Gallilee and Cortez roads.

The remaining 48 miles of improvements were oil and chipping jobs performed along Callicoon, Conklin Hill, River, Adams, Brook, Pond, Finn Swamp, Spinner, Weniger Hill, King Hill, Starlight Lake, Starrucca Creek and Rock Lake roads, and Miller Drive.

Additionally, slide repairs were performed along state routes 191, 370, 1004, 3028, and 4014.

Route 652, the Beach Lake Highway, received shoulder paving and edge line rumble strips.

Twelve year plan

In his presentation, Rickard called attention to the County's Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).

Initiated in 2017, the TIP is a 12-year allotment of highway and bridge projects proposed by the county.

The plan is updated every two years.

Within the first phase of Wayne County's TIP, 2017-2020, there are ten highway projects along routes 6, 191, 370, 590, 652, 1004, and others totaling just under $30 million.

These include roadway restorations, improvements and resurfacing.

The total through phases one and two is $50.5 million for 14 projects.

The TIP also contains 19 bridge restoration or replacement projects throughout the county, totaling $56 million.

Phases one and two combined are expected to cost just under $90 million for 39 projects.

Rickard noted PennDOT is looking to meet with local officials to discuss county routes affected by said projects.

“They're reaching out to local municipalities, the idea being, if they have project that's gonna go on a 12-year program, they want the feedback by the local municipalities...they want their input about community events, pedestrian, bicycle... bussing routes and if they shut this bridge down how far is the detour gonna be.”

This local meeting is scheduled for Monday morning, March 26, at the Stourbridge Complex.