Friday, March 19, 2010

PennDOT Gets Tough On Gas Companies

PennDOT is hiring three more inspectors for Bradford County to provide more oversight for road damage caused by heavy truck traffic. Gas drilling companies have been put on notice that their road permits will be pulled if roads are not kept passable and safe. Maintenance services manager Brian Toseki said at a meeting of the Bradford County Gas Advisory Committee in Towanda March 17th,
If they need to have a road crew on every road every day (repairing the road), then that's what they'll have to do.
The Bradford County Commissioners (Smith, Sullivan, and McLinko), representatives from Senator Yaw's and Representative Pickett's offices, Chesapeake Energy officials, Toseki, and several township supervirors were in attendance.

Commissioner Mark Smith said that road problems are real. People are not getting mail delivered, and there is a worry about emergency vehicles being able to get where they need to go. Just two years ago there were only 30 state routes in Bradford County that were posted with weight limits. Today there are more than 130 state roads posted- a total of 320 miles of state routes in the county. Smaller vehicles, such as delivery trucks, school buses, and trucks making fuel deliveries to homes are exempt.

The three new inspectors will do nothing but inspect posted roads and bonded roads, according to Toseki. Chesapeake Energy reports that they have hired 16 contractors to work on repairing roads in Bradford County. There are approximately 22 road crews working on road repairs. Commissioner Smith, however, says that according to his sources there are not enough contractors available to do the work and not enough local quarries to supply the material for road repair.

If local residents find problems on state roads, such as potholes and crumbled pavement, they should report them by calling PennDOT at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

Read the article from the Daily Review here.


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