PennDOT exhausts winter budget, but is thankful there is money for repairs
The head of PennDOT says he's already blown past his budget limit for snow removal and maintenance.
The snowy winter isn't over yet, and already PennDOT is about $11 million over budget for seasonal maintenance.
Secretary Barry Schoch says his agency is prepared to deal with the aftermath: roads cratered with potholes due to the recent severe frosts and number of freeze/thaw cycles.
"Here in Harrisburg yesterday, I-83, we had massive, crater-like potholes because of, as you said, 50 degrees after that long freeze, that's just – I hate to be the harbinger of bad news but expect more of that come next month," Schoch told lawmakers, "and it's a reflection of years of not paving as much as we should have."
Despite all that, Schoch says crews will be out to repair the damage.
"Pothole patrol will be out, our crews will be out, trying to keep up with it this winter as it occurs, winter and spring, but you can expect a lot of it around the state," Schoch said. "And then what you can also expect is to see our crews following that with construction projects to do resurfacing and taking up that old pavement, doing more restorative repairs, which will help reduce the number of potholes going forward."
Schoch says one of the things contributing to the torn-up roads now is the cumulative effect of years of underinvestment in road paving.
He adds more aggressive repaving is possible this year due to the $2.3 billion funding package signed into law last fall.
He adds it will also go toward more long-term repairs to damaged road surfaces.
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