According to a review of state Department of Transportation records by the Scranton Times Tribune, natural gas companies have fixed or are in the process of fixing more than 400 miles of state roads in Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
The industry spent more than $500 million statewide on repair and replacement projects on state roads since the natural gas boom began, said Kathryn Klaber, chief executive officer of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. That does not include nearly $406.7 million in impact fees the state Public Utility Commission said natural gas drillers were required to pay to counties over the same period, but critics say the industry still isn’t paying its fair share.
“That’s not something we should celebrate,” said state Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118, Hughestown. “They’re doing what they should be doing. That should be a given.”
There have been some instances in which PennDOT has had trouble getting the companies to conduct repairs, said Terry McHenry, a PennDOT district inspection manager, but “by and large, they have been pretty darn good.”
As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, heavy truck traffic is one of the most visible signs of gas development in many communities.
In Pennsylvania’s most drilled on area — Bradford County – automobile crashes increased by 25 percent between 2007 and 2010, and 152 percent more of those crashes included “heavy trucks.”