LOWER CHICHESTER >> Gov. Tom Wolf visited Delaware County Tuesday to speak about the more than $180 million being invested in state roads as part of the Resurface PA initiative.
"There's a lot of work going on to make our roads better than they were and to make sure that the devastating impact of this past winter is behind us as quickly as possible," he said.
Flanked by PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards and other PennDOT employees outside the Pennsylvania Welcome Center on I-95, Wolf outlined what the state has done since June to repair potholes and work on road infrastructure throughout the state, particularly following the 2017-2018 winter.
"So normal tough year, we sometimes have gotten as many as 7,000 phone calls about potholes after the winter," Wolf said. "This year, we got 15,000 phone calls."
Through July, the state spent $41 million on pothole repairs and is planning to spend an additional $31 million repairing more potholes through October.
"It's important that we do everything we can to keep our roads as good as we can," Wolf said.
The governor also outlined five components involved in the Resurface PA program: $22 million is allocated for immediate pothole repairs; $30 million for improvements to interstate transportation infrastructure; $60 million for resurfacing contracts; $62 million for interstate preservation projects; and $7 million for other interstate maintenance projects on 78 miles of state roads.
These, Wolf said, were in addition to the $180 million that PennDOT has allocated annually for pothole repair.
Here in Delaware County, I-95 will be addressed, starting in the next two weeks. Last resurfaced in 2007, I-95 will have temporary repairs made on it in a 9-mile section throughout Delaware County and then permanent repairs will follow in the spring and summer of 2019, Ken McClain, PennDOT regional district executive explained.
He added that $2.8 million had been earmarked for these repairs that will involve 10,000 tons of patching material, much of asphalt.
Richards spoke of the high volume of traffic on I-95.
"Interstate 95 here in Delaware County alone carries an average of 100,000 vehicles a day," she said. "On some days, it can carry up to 190,000 vehicles a day."
She added that all of the state roads need constant care.
"Our continued investments are vital because our state-maintained roadway system is the fifth largest in the country," Richards said.
Comparatively, PennDOT had used 109,007 tons of patching material on state roads through the end of July compared to 101,326 tons used during the same time last year.
"This is a win for all of us in Pennsylvania," Wolf said. "It's going to allow us to drive happily and safely throughout the state."
Motorists are encouraged to report road maintenance concerns by calling PennDOT's hotline at 800-FIX-ROAD (800-349-7623) or by visiting customercare.penndot.gov.