PennDOT plans rock slide repairs on Route 120

LOCK HAVEN — A plan to repair segments of Route 120, north of Renovo and near Keating, is set to get underway, according to Clinton County Planning Director Katie DeSilva, who attended a PennDOT meeting in Clearfield earlier this week,

DeSilva filled the Clinton County commissioners in on her meeting during Monday morning’s commissioners work session.

“Essentially, due to the narrowness of the road and the cliff on one side we plan to do significant repairs at two segments in 2019, fortifying the road to prevent rock slides. Both are expected to be complete by the end of fall next year,” said DeSilva.

The repairs will include a “soil nailing” process, that will pit mesh fabric into the soil to hold the ground together, and 30 foot long rods will be placed into the hillside to hold it into place.

Soil nailing is used as a construction remedial measure to treat unstable natural soil slopes or as a construction technique that allows the safe over-steepening of new or existing soil slopes.

DeSilva notes that the ground in the area has been highly saturated this year, and that there are a total of eight segments of the road that have been chosen for improvements. But due to the high rainfall levels and costs of repairs in 2018, there is only enough funding to repair two sections in the coming year, she said.

Each section is about a half a mile long, DeSilva noted.

“We will have one lane of the roadway closed, and all travel will have to go through a stop sign and temporary traffic lights. We cannot close the road,” DeSilva said.

“No, a detour would be horrendous,” Commissioner Robert “Pete” Smeltz said.

“We have to plan on keeping one lane open. We can probably still expect delays in travel, and the repairs could take longer, but that road is still a critical artery to travel in our area. The reports say that only approximately 850 cars travel that route daily, but if you open a map of Pennsylvania, Route 120 is the only highway in that part of the state.”

DeSilva says that she anticipates construction to start on the first segment of highway in June, and in July, construction will start on the next section up the road, beyond Keating.