Long Hard Slog

Of a commute to work this morning, as Rt 30 was still a mess after Wednesday’s winter storm.  Apparently, PennDOT is not always familiar with this chemical compound commonly known as “salt”.  I was still in West Virginia when I encountered stop and go (mostly stop) traffic.  As I crept into Pennsylvania I encountered rigs that looked like they were stopped dead heading back westbound, and the road appeared to have just been salted.  We got through the curvy section before and at Red Dog Rd and then encountered more traffic at Laughlin Corner with fire trucks in the intersection.  They were preventing traffic from getting west of Rt 168 on 30.  I’m not really sure why at that point, as the road seemed passable to me.  It was far from ideal of course.  Ideal would’ve been them having salted the road at some time overnight so that the dusting of snow that fell pre-dawn didn’t turn that section into a bobsled course.  I mean, I just don’t understand why they didn’t salt sooner.  The road was plowed; it had been plowed by the time I came home through their Wednesday evening at roughly 5pm.  It took another 14 hours to salt?  No thanks to PennDOT I was 10 minutes late for work.  By this afternoon PennDOT had finally salted and the road was basically cleared, though it looked at a glance like work still had to be done on Rt 18 and Rt 151 when I passed those intersections a full 24+ hours after the storm ended.

Of course, this is actually a bit better now than 30 in West Virginia.  The left lane heading east out of Chester is still unusable, and the left turn lanes at Rt 8/Pyramus Rd intersection are snow covered still this evening.  The left lane of the Chester Bridge is snow covered, and the ramps from the bridge to the freeway in East Liverpool have not been salted.  For that matter, 30/39 in East Liverpool is still a snow covered left lane, at least westbound.  I know this was a bad storm, but its been over for more than 24 hours now.  My opinion is that state highways should be cleared by now.  I realize local and neighborhood roads won’t be, in some cases not until the next thaw.  But I expect highways to be more passable than I found them today.

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