By Jason Dailey, Director, Public Works
We’re getting aggressive about potholes this year, and we’re looking for help from vigilant residents.
Starting back in December, we had colder than normal temperatures with on-and-off snow that lasted almost a month. As a result, we’re beginning to see road damage earlier this year than we usually do – cracking, heaving, chunking; all the things that can take years off the life of pavement. And there’s still plenty of winter left.
Although we can’t do anything about the weather, we’re taking a proactive approach to keeping our roads from getting ruined. For one thing, we’ve got crews scheduled in shifts throughout the season. That means we have Public Works people on duty from 4:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. And between storms, part of their assignment is to drive their normal snow routes to keep an eye out for cracks and other telltale signs of road damage. They’re pretty good at it, but the people who actually live on those streets monitor them even more closely. So we’re looking for residents to call our Customer Service Department and report any signs of road damage.
And that’s not just for record-keeping purposes; we’re sending crews out to make whatever repairs are practical, and to do them as soon as possible. The reason is that cracks widen, and as they do, more water gets in and pretty soon the freeze-thaw cycle blows your road apart, turning a minor repair into a much bigger project.
One way we’re addressing that challenge is with a new crack-sealing machine that we’re sharing with several other communities. It’s trailer-mounted and it cleans and fills cracks in one pass to keep more water from getting in. That can extend the life of a roadway another 3 or 4 years beyond its normal 10-12 year lifespan. And it seems to be working very well. So call 724-776-4806 and let us know when something needs attention. And if it’s a state road, call PennDOT at 1-800 FIX ROAD.