ShareThis Page
Home

Ivan opens $50 million gap in PennDOT budget

| Monday, Nov. 22, 2004

Some of Allegheny County's bumpiest and most battered roads will go unpaved this spring.

PennDOT will delay some road-repaving projects scheduled for spring because it's spending an estimated $100 million to repair roads damaged Sept. 17 by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan.

PennDOT will have to push some of the projects planned for next year further into the future, delaying spring paving work until its new budget year starts July 1 or even beyond that.

"Some of the contracts we do for maintenance and paving in early spring may have to wait until July or the next fiscal year," said PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick. "It just postpones the expense into the next budget year."

Repairing damage to roads statewide caused by Ivan's floods will cost an estimated $100 million, Kirkpatrick said. PennDOT will get about half of the money back from the federal government, leaving it with a $50 million hole in its budget, Kirkpatrick said.

It's not yet known which projects will be delayed, said Andy Kost, PennDOT's head of maintenance at its District 11 office in Collier. The district won't settle on a final spring project list until early next year, he said.

This year, PennDOT spent $16 million from its maintenance budget to repave parts of 32 roads in 30 municipalities in Allegheny County. Larger road projects such as the continuing Route 28 work in Etna are covered by the agency's construction budget.

Next year's paving work also will be affected by the amount of money spent plowing and salting roads this winter.

"We want to wait to see how winter treats us," said Cathy Tress, a local PennDOT spokeswoman. "We want to see how much of our winter budget we can use next year."

PennDOT's District 11 office is overseeing 10 contracts to repair up to 100 flood-damaged roads in Allegheny and Beaver counties.

Here's the one bit of good news in this: PennDOT's pothole patching accounts won't be affected by the cash crunch, Kirkpatrick said.

Recovering from Ivan

Repairs to roads damaged by the Sept. 17 floods continue across the region. PennDOT's District 11 office in Collier hired six contractors to do the work in Allegheny and Beaver counties. Here are the traffic restrictions on roads that are being worked on.

Allegheny County

  • Little Pine Creek: single lane with alternating traffic.

  • Hunter Road: single lane with alternating traffic.

  • Saxonburg Boulevard: single lane with alternating traffic.

  • Noblestown Road: closed.

  • Old Steubenville Pike: lane closed.

  • Little Sewickley Road: lane closed.

  • Geyer Road: daytime lane closings.

  • Mt. Nebo Road: closed until mid-January, then closed again in spring.

    Beaver County

  • Route 588: closed.

  • Kane Road: daytime lane closings.

  • Old Shenango Road: closed.

  • Route 351: open with occasional lane closings.

  • Shady Rest Road: occasional daytime closings.

  • 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.

    click me