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Storm damage keeps Jefferson Hills crews from other road projects

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Brittany Goncar | South Hills Record
A section of Waterman (West) Road in Jefferson Hills is barricaded off after the roadside caved in during the July 10 storm.
Part of Waterman (East) Road is down to one lane because of potholes and deteriorating road conditions.
Rain water fills the potholes on Peters Creek Road in Jefferson Hills.

Some residents are complaining about potholes in Jefferson Hills.

Residents who live along Heath Road say they have difficulty getting in and out of their driveways because of potholes.

Bob Fink, 54, said he used his tractor to fill the crevices at the end of his driveway with sand.

“They are always working on it, but I'm not sure if it's ever been paved,” Fink said.

Public works director Tom Lovell said he didn't remember the last time Heath Road was paved, but that it is repaired with tarring and chipping on a regular basis. The road is again scheduled for tarring and chipping, by November.

“I do my own evaluation of the roads that I suggest to council on an as-needed basis and if we are going to do major fixes or tarring and chipping,” Lovell said.

Road evaluations are done at least every four months, and sometimes, once a month, Lovell said.

Regular maintenance was put on the back burner following the July 10 storm that flooded parts of Western Pennsylvania. Public works crews since then have been repairing roads and cleaning debris.

Waterman and Peters Creek roads were hit the hardest, Lovell said. Parts of Waterman crumbled over the hillside.

“There was a patch that buckled up,” said Ed Delenko, 54, who lives along Heath Road. “That doesn't count all the trees that are falling over on the side of the cliff.”

Public works will begin other road projects once the storm repairs are complete, Lovell said.

The borough is accepting bids to tar-and-chip three roads, including Peters Creek, Heath and Knight. Bids are due today, Thursday.

This year, $375,000 was set aside for road pavement improvement and $60,000 was designated for additional road repairs that included tarring and chipping.

The number of roads paved depends on what is budgeted for road improvements.

“We try to get 15 to 20 years out of a road,” Lovell said. “The roads that we do with the money that is budgeted does not keep us within the 20 years.”

Regular maintenance repairs, like tarring and chipping, are done to try to make the road surface last longer, Lovell.

“We consider (increasing road funds) that every year,” said Andrew McCreery, finance director and acting borough manager. “That's always the number one topic.”

Jefferson Hills Council approved paying $249,000 to Youngblood Paving on July 8.

The roads paved under this contract were 4,300 square feet of Wray Large Road, Decker Avenue, and Alice and Third streets.

“Residents are more than welcome to call the borough and we are happy to go look at (the roads) them,” McCreery said. “Any of those types of calls — they can come and talk to us. That's why we have a road department.”

Brittany Goncar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or bgoncar@tribweb.com.

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