Frustrated Drivers Stuck In I-81 Traffic, More Delays Expected
LUZERNE COUNTY — Drivers say it’s just not fair that they had to sit in backed up traffic Monday while crews fixed holes the pavement of Interstate 81 in Luzerne County.
They feel if the highway had been paved the right way just a couple of years ago, it wouldn’t need to be fixed again, now.
Much of Interstate 81 through Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties was repaved within the last two years, but on Monday PennDOT was patching numerous potholes in a recently paved stretch that started to break apart over the winter.
That meant drivers sitting in traffic for repairs to a road that PennDOT says should still be smooth.
But on this Monday morning, drivers sat in miles of backed up traffic because the road already needed repairs.
“It’s bad,” said Mike Boehm of Swoyersville.
“Well, it made me a little cranky. It slowed us down; we lost about 35 minutes in that.”
When 20 miles of the highway was resurfaced in Luzerne County within the past two years, a material called microseal was used. PennDOT says it’s supposed to last three or four years.
Now, drivers are being impacted by it breaking down prematurely
“I would be very angry and want to know who gave the specs on the road and what materials were used,” said Karen Trossbach of Albany, NY.
“That’s terrible, that’s terrible. Fortunately, I’m not paying taxes in Pennsylvania,” said Ben Mastro of Albany, NY.
PennDOT patching along the interstate is scheduled to continue Tuesday and there are likely other spots that will also need repairs soon as PennDOT tries to figure out what’s causing the problem that’s making the interstate crumble.
“The cracks are getting deeper, the potholes are getting bigger. I see people with flat tires all the time,” said delivery driver Andrew Race.
Race is on the interstate all the time making deliveries. We told him this work is being done on a road paved less than two years ago at a cost of $10 million.
“I think they need a new contractor, get someone in that’s going to do the job right the first time and just go from there,” Race said.
“Evidently they didn’t do a good job, that’s all I can say,” Boehm added.
PennDOT plans to be back out on the interstate Tuesday patching potholes on I-81 south between the North Cross Valley Expressway and Highland Park Boulevard exits. That’s also a stretch that was recently resurfaced.
You can expect delays there.