JACKSON TWP. — There are smoother days ahead for motorists Chase Road, according to Luzerne County Engineer Lawrence Plesh.
A mile section of the road is one of the Back Mountain’s trouble spots as it is riddled with potholes and patches. Winter’s extreme temperature fluctuation and precipitation caused more road cracks to appear and develop into craters.
“The condition of Chase Road is terrible,” said Tom Zimmerman, owner of Zimmerman’s Collision Service on Chase Road. “They have been talking about paving it for the past 20 years.”
Plesh said the county-owned section of Chase Road, between Hillside and Huntsville roads, is targeted for repaving this year. The project will be reviewed by both the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Luzerne County on April 5, Plesh said.
“We are planning to advertise for (project) bids the first week of June,” Plesh said, adding bids are tentatively scheduled to be opened in July with road resurfacing expected in September.
PennDOT will fund the majority of the $1.5 million project with the county providing a five to 10 percent match, Plesh said.
This winter, the potholes on Chase Road reached a point of such severity that PennDOT installed yellow caution signs stating “Rough Road” to warn motorists of the street’s deteriorating condition.
Zimmerman, who operated his business for over 40 years along the trouble spot on Chase Road, said this winter took a toll on the road.
“If you notice the worst parts of the road are where the trees shade it,” he said, adding snow and ice seeps into cracks in the road, refreezes and expands because the sun cannot dry up the moisture.
“I think the road is worn out,” Zimmerman said. “The asphalt is very thin.”
Luzerne County started the process to repair Chase Road last year when two culverts that run under the road were replaced. One culvert accommodates Brown Creek and the second is for stormwater management, Plesh said.
Also, the county is seeking easements from residents along Chase Road for swale construction that will aid in stormwater management.
The easements are collected, Plesh said.
Zimmerman noticed last week many of the potholes were being filled with cold-patch, recycled asphalt compacted into potholes and cracks in the road.
Both Zimmerman and Plesh know cold-patching is a temporary solution to the pothole problems.
“We need to get out of this weather cycle for the hot asphalt plants to open,” Plesh said.
Luzerne County also has plans to mill and repave sections of Hillside Road in Jackson Township and Main Road in Sweet Valley this year, Plesh said.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.