Harsh winter brings bumpy roads for drivers in Penn Township
It's been a bumpy ride for drivers taking Route 130 in Penn Township through this see-saw, freeze-thaw cycle this winter.
An increasing number of potholes not only has had motorists weaving along the state highway to dodge ruts, but the dips jostled township police into contacting PennDOT recently to encourage the agency to patch the worst of the worst cracks.
“(Route) 130 seems to be crumbling fast,” police Chief John Otto said. “Definitely, the last storm, the last freeze-thaw was the straw that broke the camel's back.”
Though a PennDOT spokeswoman said the agency has been busy filling cracks throughout the region when possible, she acknowledged that the cold-patch repairs take a back seat when state workers are plowing snow.
And it's not like there has been a lack of winter weather. The Pittsburgh region already has been blanketed by 53 inches of snow, which is about 30 percent more than the average winter, the National Weather Service in Moon reports.
Valerie Petersen, community relations coordinator for PennDOT District 12, said the agency's crews took advantage of the warmer temperatures last week to complete some cold-patch repairs. But weather forecasters were projecting another snap of extreme cold to smack the region again this week, which will restart the freeze-thaw cycle that causes many of the cracks.
Petersen said it's a vicious cycle for road crews, but it's too early to tell if this winter has been worse than usual. Department officials are noticing an increase in complaints to its 1-800-FIX ROAD (1-800-349-7623) hotline, but don't keep a tally on the number of potholes, she said.
PennDOT doesn't necessarily have a priority list for which roads are fixed first, but it tends to maintain interstates or other highways that have a larger number of drivers first, Petersen said.
“We have (drivers) be our eyes and ears because we can't be everywhere and see everything all the time,” she said.
Within the past week, the deterioration of Route 130 has been a growing topic on a community Facebook page, with some residents saying they also contacted PennDOT's hotline.
Echoing the online comments, Otto said the worst areas are between Long Drive and Hyland Drive and between Burrell Hill Road and North 14th Street.
Some motorists have been driving into the opposite lane of traffic to avoid road damage in front of a tanning salon by Whistle Drive, Otto said.
“There are some places where one pothole is patched and the three around them aren't,” he said.
Township Manager Bruce Light said PennDOT patched a previously cracked area along state-owned Route 993 between Route 130 and Bushy Run Battlefield, but he'd be surprised if the fix lasts through the winter season.
“(The potholes) just come back as soon as you fill them in,” Light said.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Twp. police contract change provides for K9 unit
- Manor's budget does not include extra for VFD audit
- Penn Middle School plans to upgrade tech at library
- Donations cover bills for cat shot with arrow in Penn Towship
- Manor officials approve land transfer; land bank to take over property
- Manor Council members officially renew PTARC membership
- Penn-Trafford drama students prepare to ‘Break A Leg!’
- Penn Township to meet with Apex on gas well applications