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Temporary fills all Murrysville can do now for potholes, cracks

| Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The see-sawing temperatures and hundreds of hours of plowing have left Murrysville roads a wreck.

“Our roads — in the last three weeks, some have almost disintegrated,” Murrysville Councilman Dave Perry said. “Some really nice stretches now look like something out of a bomb zone.”

With winter temperatures dipping below zero for days at a stretch and warming to the 40s before plummeting again, roads across the region have taken a beating. But with cold temperatures expected on-and-off for several more weeks, there isn't much local officials can do, other than a short-term fix.

For now, the solution is a temporary asphalt patch. Municipal Chief Administrator Jim Morrison agreed that local roads are in bad condition after weeks of an unrelenting winter.

He said local officials will reevaluate roads this spring, but — because of the Superpave type of asphalt that the roads are made of — officials aren't overly worried now, despite the wide cracks. That's because the asphalt is, to a degree, self-healing.

“One of the characteristics of Superpave is that it opens up really wide in winter,” Morrison said. “By June, July cracks will close up.”

This summer, officials plan to repave about 5.7 miles along four roads throughout the municipality. That includes:

• 2.73 miles of Mamont Road, between Sardis Road and Route 286.

• 1.52 miles of School Road North, between Old William Penn Highway and Newton Court.

• 1.09 miles of Logans Ferry Road, between Franklintown Court and the Allegheny County line.

• 0.37 miles of Hunt Club Drive, from Route 22 to the end of the cul-de-sac.

The municipality will spend about $800,000 on the annual paving program. That's a little less than prior years, Morrison said.

An additional $100,000 is designated to handle a stretch Bulltown Road as a pilot for a new rural road treatment.

“At some point, we need to take a look at our rural roads and how we treat those from a cost-effective way,” Morrison said.

He expects to recommend a treatment on Bulltown next month.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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