'Great December' Helps Road Projects
Warm weather allows crews to complete more construction work done.
The unseasonably warm weather this month hasn’t just been a nice way to avoid chilly winter temperatures. It’s also giving construction crews a chance to catch up on roadwork before the heavy snow falls.
PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi said work has ended on major paving projects, but crews still are able to perform work on bridges, install guard rails guiderails and put up signs.
“It’s been a great December for contractors and PennDOT to get projects done by the end of the year,” he said. “It’s more construction in December than in recent memory, and that’s good because we had a very wet spring, and this lets them wrap things up.”
Even when temperatures are warmer than usual, rainy days still are not an ideal time for workers to be out on the road, Struzzi said.
“You have to take safety into consideration as well,” he said. “If it’s a dark, gloomy day, you don’t want to put anyone out there with inclement weather.”
Struzzi said the additional unexpected work during the winter doesn’t really save money, but it allows the state to move onto other projects next year that would have been pushed back.
Struzzi doesn’t expect PennDOT’s run of good fortune to continue for much longer because the dreaded freeze-thaw season is about to begin.
“The weather is always a factor in December and has been very cooperative so far,” he said. “Anyone who lives in western Pennsylvania knows that the real winter months lay ahead.”