At the direction of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is launching what it calls an "aggressive campaign" to accelerate repaving work and pothole repair efforts along key interstate highways as part of a broader "Resurface PA" initiative. A significant part of the work will be financed using savings from other projects since Gov. Wolf took office.
"PennDOT has been at work on this problem for many months, but the severe temperature swings through the winter have created ideal conditions for continued pavement challenges," Wolf said during a press conference May 24. "We are further increasing our focus on pothole repairs and also accelerating much-needed work on our interstates."
PennDOT said it has prioritized $22.3 million for immediate pothole repairs through June 30, with plans to invest an additional $7 million invested in seven interstate maintenance projects covering potholes and other repairs on 78 miles of roads this year.
Other new investments that are part of the Governor's broader "Resurface PA" effort include:
Together, those commitments encompass 17 interstate paving and preservation projects covering 255 miles, with projects beginning this year and next. Those "accelerated projects," which will preserve the pavement surfaces for at least five to six years, build on the 85 interstate projects covering more than 775 miles that are underway or expected to begin or finish this year, Wolf noted.
"We have improved thousands of miles of roadway in the past three years and we continue to battle potholes across the state each year," added PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards in a statement. "These investments will address much-needed repairs and preserve several stretches of interstate."
Through the end of April, PennDOT said its repair crews used nearly 23,000 tons of asphalt to fix potholes statewide, equal to the weight of roughly 1,500 PennDOT dump trucks. In comparison, by the same point in time back in 2017, PennDOT used just 15,418 tons of asphalt – and only 14,673 tons in 2016. Through April of this year, the agency said it spent more than $17 million on pothole repairs statewide.
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