Photo by Jamie Wiggan
Traffic has to alternate around this section of sunken roadway on Aiken Extension.
Nearly a year after PennDOT committed funds for work to repair landslide-damaged sections of Aiken Road Extension, officials say the project’s timeline is still unclear.
“We still haven’t received a dime,” said Mel Weinstein, Kennedy manager, treasurer and tax collector. “Working with PennDOT is like a jar of Heinz ketchup – you’ve got to pull it out with a knife.”
Traffic flowing along Aiken Road Extension has been forced to alternate one-way around a section of sunken road for several years following a landslide. The area is prone to slides and portions of the road have been closed on previous occasions.
Weinstein said township officials have a virtual meeting scheduled next week with PennDOT, which awarded the project a $382,771 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant in April 2021. He said he hopes to see construction start later this year, but he couldn’t say for sure.
Weinstein expects the project to cost about double the funds extended in the grant, requiring the township to front money from the general fund account.
A spokesperson for PennDOT said the money will not be distributed until the work is completed.
“The Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF) grant agreement for this project is currently being reviewed by Kennedy Township and its engineer,” said Alexis Campbell, PennDOT press secretary. “The agreement will then be approved by the PennDOT district office before it is fully executed."