By Garret Roberts
Complaints from citizens over a recent incident where PennDOT road crews aborted work on an inlet construction on Steuben Street because of rainy conditions has prompted Crafton council to begin a review of its street excavation and street opening policies.
After the state road crews left the area, residents became concerned parts of the road which were left unpaved and milled would remain that way indefinitely.
While these problem areas met state requirements for safety, the condition of the road was brought to the attention of the borough via social media channels and phone calls to their office from concerned residents.
In response, the borough called in the state to have crews return and repair the areas once weather conditions had improved.
“[PennDOT] came and they were very responsive,” said Jennifer Slagle, a borough engineer. “Sometimes social media can work in that way, where we can correct a problem that could have been a safety hazard.”
The borough’s policy review is expected to result in an official protocol protecting borough-maintained streets from work performed by utility companies. “What I would like to see is that this ordinance has enough teeth in it that it incentivizes the utilities to participate with us when we say we are going to reconstruct a street,” said Council President Philip Levasseur.
Council also stressed the importance of holding Crafton to the same standards as other utility companies, ensuring that all projects are following the same guidelines.
“We have had quite a few complaints about the spot repairs [in the borough],” said Lavasseur. “People are wondering why the borough gets away with doing minimal restoration and everyone else has to do more.”
The Community Services and Infrastructure Committee is currently working on the language and terms of the ordinance throughout the next month.
In other Crafton news:
• In accordance with the Pennsylvania Game Commision and the Audubon Society of Pennsylvania, the borough is encouraging residents to remove bird feeders in order to slow the spread of an unknown illness affecting birds across West Virginia and Ohio.
• Crafton Police and the Allegheny County Chiefs of Police Association are reminding residents to not leave children and pets unattended in parked cars during the summer months. High temperatures can reach deadly levels in minutes, even with windows partially down.