2,568 miles of roadway fall under the PennDot District 11 umbrella, and recent weather conditions have lead to a whole new crop of potholes. Jim Struzzi, PennDot District 11 spokesperson, reminds motorists of Allegheny, Beaver, and Lawrence counties to report safety concerns by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623).
The toll-free number can be called to report anything from signs, animal carcasses, or other safety concerns such as snow, ice, faulty drainage, or shoulder drop-offs.
Struzzi said the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day during the winter months, so the caller will not be talking to an answering machine.
"We do encourage people, if they're out traveling on state-owned roadways, to let us know about any problems that they encounter," said Struzi. "Often times, with the extensive network that we have, we are not aware of problems, and it really helps us if people can call the 1-800-FIX-ROAD number and give us some detail about what the problem is and where it's located, so that we can get out there and address it."
Drivers are encouraged to note as much information about the problem area as possible in their call. Once reported, Struzzi said response time depends on what the concern is and where it is located.
"If it's something that constitutes a safety concern — for example, if it's in an area where people are forced to maneuver around into oncoming traffic or off the roadway — we want to address that quickly. If it's something that has to be scheduled, it may be a day or two, but typically we try to address them as quickly as possible," he said.
Struzzi explained that it is better to call the 1-800-FIX-ROAD number from a landline, because if a caller is using a cell phone, the call is directed to the office in which the service provider is located. If using a cell phone, calling the office directly to report a road deficiency is acceptable. Allegheny Country's maintenance number is 412-781-3260; Beaver County's is 724-774-6610; and the Lawrence County maintenance office can be contacted by calling 724-656-3104.
Drivers are reminded to call 911 instead of the hotline for immediate emergencies, disabled vehicles, and traffic accidents.