State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Pothole Patrol Goes to Work on Winter-Ravaged Roads

by on May 02, 2014 1:45 PM

The long, cold winter that would seemingly never end is finally over.

But a few winter weather headaches still remain. Take, for instance, those deep craters carved out along many streets in our area.

Road crews have been sent out on Pothole Patrol, patching torn-up asphalt on North Atherton Street, University Drive and Beaver Avenue, to name just a few winter-ravaged roads.

Over the winter, road crews had to use "cold patch material" to cover up the bumper crop of potholes. That's considered a temporary repair. Asphalt plants began making "hot patch" about two weeks ago, which is used to make more permanent repairs, according to Mark Whitfield, the borough's public works director.

Whitfield says the winter took a heavy toll. "This spring, we will be completing crack sealing, then in the summer months we will be doing a lot of milling and patching, which is where we mill off the bad section of pavement and put a thin layer of new asphalt down."

According to Whitfield, a large number of streets need to be resurfaced. That includes sections of Buckhout Street, Ridge Avenue, Edgewood Circle, Sunset Road, Ferguson Avenue, Sparks Street, Hamilton Avenue, and all of Fry Drive.

"We also had pavement failure this winter on the section of University Drive from Easterly Parkway to Nimitz Avenue," says Whitfield. That section of University Drive will be resurfaced later this spring or summer.

Fixing all the damage won't be cheap. "All told, we will be spending about $1.2 million on repairs, maintenance and resurfacing," Whitfield says.

Then there's the cost of snow plowing and salting icy roads. "I wouldn't say it broke the bank," says Whitfield. "But it was more costly than normal by about 25 percent."

Materials and labor to clear snow-covered roads cost State College $232,502 over the winter. However, it's too early to know whether that busted the budget. Since State College operates on a calendar year (January through December) there's next winter to consider.

"We had a fairly mild 2012-13 winter, so we went into this (past) winter season with a full bin of salt," says Whitfield. In fact, State College will be going into next winter with 400 tons of salt already in reserve. If next November and December aren't too snowy, Whitfield says State College could end up "in pretty good shape."

Video shows Pothole Patrol making repairs on Beaver Avenue Thursday:


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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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