State: There's hope for Sawkill Road in 2016

| 01 Oct 2015 | 01:38

By Frances Ruth Harris
— Sawkill Road residents are keeping the state on its toes.

When will the road finally be fixed, asked resident Gail Darcy at the Sept. 17 Pike Road Task Force meeting. She said the crumbling road was pushed aside in favor of others.

How does the state determine how many people travel the roads? she asked. She said she pays her taxes and wants to know why many roads are in such poor condition.

No one answered her questions about how numbers on the roads are counted.

Dennis Giordano, assistant district executive of maintenance with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in Harrisburg, said the "gas tax" covers road maintenance costs. Not all Pike County residents contribute, if they gas up in New Jersey or don't drive, he noted.

Darcy kept going.
"We live here," she insisted. "We're always pushed out. Don't we count for something?"

The good news, Giordano, said, is that Sawkill will receive four feet of repairs on each side of the road with a three-inch base.

"The road will last ten to 15 years," he said.

He said this longevity is made real with maintenance. Ensuring proper drainage is part of the job to be done in 2016.

Darcy smiled when she saw Sawkill was now on the list.

Giordano announced other maintenance work to be completed:

Lackawaxen Road will be patched this year so that maintenance crews can do drainage and overlay work next year, from 30 to state Route 434.

Blooming Grove Road will receive $2.1 million for work in 2016. PennDOT is now fixing pipes in Blooming Grove. Depending on funding, an overlay is possiblein 2016.

Towpath Road will be paved with recycled asphalt pavement in 2017.

Giordano says the state is trying to stretch dollars allocated to Pike County.

Ken Thiel, Pike County's maintenance supervisor, is busy with winter preparations for cover 329 miles of Pike County's roads. He said the cost of salt is up 15 percent, from $72 to $83.60 a ton. And anti-skid material has doubled in price, he said.

Emergency funding of $700,000 has been allocated to repair the section of Delaware Drive that slid into the Delaware River earlier this year. But nothing has been done to fix that section, and Delaware Drive continues to deteriorate in other areas along its fragile banks.