Failure to repair roads gas companies are damaging has prompted the state to ban the industry's trucks from several routes in Bradford and Sullivan counties. The state Department of Transportation told reporters Tuesday the ban will continue until the damaged roads are repaired.
An industry official with Chesapeake Energy told WNEP TV that freezing and thawing "makes road repair very difficult if not impossible." However, road-use permits issued to Chesapeake place the responsibility on the drilling company's shoulders as a condition of the permits waiving a 10-ton weight restriction.
Repair work is under way, with Chesapeake Energy claiming more than 30 crews from construction companies in the region have been hired and already are at work. "They're working on fixing it, slowly," Jessica Birdsall, a commuter in the region, told the Elmira Star-Gazette.
"Last year, Chesapeake invested more than $92 million to improve local and state roads and our commitment for the coming year will be just as significant," Chesapeake Energy spokesman Brian Grove told The Daily Review in Towanda.
Until adequate repairs are made, PennDOT spokesman Rick Mason said in a news release, only local traffic or traffic less than 10 tons is allowed on the following roadways in Bradford County: Route 1022, or Bridge Street, Ghent Hill Road and Center Valley Road in Ulster, Sheshequin and Rome townships; Route 1057, or Sportsmans Road and Rome Road in Sheshequin and Litchfield townships, and Route 4012 or Laurel Hill Road in Smithfield and Ulster townships. In Sullivan County, the limitations affect Route 4016, or Campbellville Road and Hottensteins Hill Road in Elkland and Forks townships.