Paving, oil & chip; I-84 update
MILFORD - Motorists and residents in Pike County, Pa., can expect to see PennDOT road crews out on 33 different roads, extending over 80 miles of state roadways. In addition, another 23 miles of road work will be performed under contract, including the ongoing, multiple-year project to totally replace Interstate 84 in Pennsylvania.
James May and Michael Taluto, PennDOT spokesmen for District #4, highlighted the plans for the press at the PennDOT maintenance office in Milford, in May. Douglas Yacuboski, Acting Manager at the Pike County office, also answered questions.
None of the projects require long detours. There are no bridge projects this year, other than replacement of the Mott Street pedestrian bridge in Milford Borough, which is utilizing state funds. Some roads receiving recycled asphalt paving (“RAP”) will need some temporary closures.
Some contracts are in various phase or including more than one road. Not all aspects of a road project may be done in the same season.
Milford Road & 739
Yacuboski identified the lower part of Route 739, below SR 2001 (Milford Road) in Dingmans Ferry, as generating a lot of public interest. Surface improvements are planned from the intersection with 2001, to the Dingmans Ferry toll bridge below U.S. Route 209. Surface improvements will also be done by contact on Milford Road from Silver Lake Road to Log Tavern Road. Further surface improvements by PennDOT crews will continue south on Milford Road, as well as the gong reconstruction and widening of the road mainly in Lehman Township.
Milford Road parallels U.S. Route 209, the latter being federally owned and maintained by the National Park Service. When 209 is shut down for the winter, Milford Road becomes a bypass. Trucks are also prohibited from using Route 209. Yacuboski said that a lot of work is being done on Milford Road to allow it to be a work-around for 209.
Milford Road is being improved in sections. “They’re taking a curvy, winding road and making it wide and straight,” Yacuboski said.
Recycling asphalt paving
In the far northern tip of Pike County in Lackawaxen Township, “RAP paving” will occur on Welcome Lake Road. Yacuboski said this is scheduled to occur in these second week of July. Recycled asphalt will be used. PennDOT has also used this process on Blooming Grove Road, Egypt Road, Greeley Lake Road and Towpath Road.
Yacuboski said this is a cost effective method to pave on a low-volume road with low, average daily traffic.
Recycled paving will also be done this year on Rowland Road, Knealing Road, Mountain Avenue and Milford Beach Road.
Safety improvements will be conducted on Route 739, from Interstate 84 Exit 30 (Lords Valley) north to Pike County Boulevard. Shoulders will be widened and edge line rumble strips added.
Why they oil & chip
There are 38 miles of road that will be treated with oil and chip. May commented that oil and chip is often misunderstood. “Often times we will take a road that is not in horrible shape and do oil and chip on it… Think of oil and chip like the seal you put on your driveway… It helps in the preservation of the road.”
May added, “Sometimes our job at PennDOT is to take what’s broken and fix it, other times it is to take what’s not broken and maintain it and keep it from becoming broken.”
Yacuboski said that it is the oil that seeps into cracks to help preserve the road; small stone tips are added to provide the driving surface. The process has improved over the years, with not as much dust.
The public sometimes complains why the state works on good roads, May said, explaining the work is done to preserve the pavement.
Among the roads to be oiled and chipped are Route 402 from Route 6 to I-84; 3002; 4003 Welcome Lake Road and Twin Lakes Road (which was paved last year).
Two slide repairs are planned, on Route 434 in Shohola Township and Rote 1013 in Westfall Township. In both cases, the roadway is sliding downward and most be shored up.
The I-84 project costs hundreds of million dollars spread over five segments done over several years. Eventually all 54 miles of I-84 in Pennsylvania will be done, with the portion in Lackawanna County being last.
During 2019, work is underway in Pike County, on the westbound lanes from the Pike/ Wayne County line in Greene Township, to Route 390 in Palmyra Township, as well as the eastbound lanes in central Pike, in Blooming Grove and Dingman Townships.
Next year, work on the western segment will switch over to the eastbound lanes.
The westbound lanes in the central section were done last year.
While this work progresses, traffic will continue to be shifted over to the lanes in these segments.
The I-84 work was required because when the interstate was built in the 1970’s, rock taken from certain quarries had a chemical reaction with the asphalt, leading to the gradual deterioration of the roadway base. The crumbling started to be noticed in the 1990’s.
Maintenance crews will continue tree trimming, crack sealing, patching and scraping of roadway edges. Sixty two miles of shoulder cuts are expected in 2019.
Taluto reminded motorists to be aware of motorcycles and bicycles sharing the roadways, as well as pedestrians. School will be out soon. Volunteer litter clean crews are out in force. Drivers are reminded to give road crews space, and keep them safe. Distracted driving continued to be a major issue, adding to the amount of preventable accidents.