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Old 07-04-2008, 05:59 AM
 
Location: North Raleigh
17 posts, read 54,562 times
Reputation: 22

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My wife and I decided to make a rather spontaneous road trip from North Carolina to Centre County, PA last week. Wanted to check things out up there. Wonderful area, by the way, but we noticed one thing while in the state that, for travellers actually trying to get somewhere, was terribly disconcerting:

Almost from the instant we crossed the state line, and all the way to the center of the state... er... commonwealth... we encountered "Road Work" signs, followed by long stretches of half-obstructed highway, but no road work at all. Once we got out of a "road work" zone (basic speed, 40 MPH) and thought we were making progress again, BAM... here would come another one! This went on for most of the entire stretch of interstate from the Mason Dixon line to State College, slowing our trip needlessly, and delaying our arrival by almost an hour and a half.

We asked someone in Boalsburg about this, and she said, "Yeah, I know. That's a Pennsylvania thing. Makes no sense, but it's what they do here."

On our way toward Harrisburg later, we encountered more of these stretches of so-called "road work," half the highway closed off, with nary a worker in sight. Not as bad as earlier, but still, very frustrating. If this is indeed a Pennsylvania thing (and I've not seen anything like it elsewhere), it's a very weird thing.

Any natives have thoughts or an explanation?
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Lancaster County, PA
1,740 posts, read 3,947,979 times
Reputation: 828
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Artist View Post
My wife and I decided to make a rather spontaneous road trip from North Carolina to Centre County, PA last week. Wanted to check things out up there. Wonderful area, by the way, but we noticed one thing while in the state that, for travellers actually trying to get somewhere, was terribly disconcerting:

Almost from the instant we crossed the state line, and all the way to the center of the state... er... commonwealth... we encountered "Road Work" signs, followed by long stretches of half-obstructed highway, but no road work at all. Once we got out of a "road work" zone (basic speed, 40 MPH) and thought we were making progress again, BAM... here would come another one! This went on for most of the entire stretch of interstate from the Mason Dixon line to State College, slowing our trip needlessly, and delaying our arrival by almost an hour and a half.

We asked someone in Boalsburg about this, and she said, "Yeah, I know. That's a Pennsylvania thing. Makes no sense, but it's what they do here."

On our way toward Harrisburg later, we encountered more of these stretches of so-called "road work," half the highway closed off, with nary a worker in sight. Not as bad as earlier, but still, very frustrating. If this is indeed a Pennsylvania thing (and I've not seen anything like it elsewhere), it's a very weird thing.

Any natives have thoughts or an explanation?
Most likely the road surface is not in driveable condition due to the construction project that's taking place. Eventually the project does get finished, although it seems like they may never finish contruction on the Turnpike near Vally Forge.

Speaking of strange road signs, anyone else question the "Aggressive Driving Enforcement" signs near the Giant on Route 501? Despite the warning that there is a Warwick Township cop nearby people still speed up the right lane and try to cut into traffic. I saw someone do that yesterday with traffic backed up and a cop sitting in the medium area.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:38 AM
 
41,720 posts, read 43,554,365 times
Reputation: 17637
Probably a big project, when they are going to do a big project its cheaper to set up many barriers than just a few. It's just the prep work for a crew that is about to move in. There's a lot of highway workers killed in PA each year too, I think they also do it so the people get an idea of the new traffic patterns before moving workers in.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:21 PM
 
681 posts, read 2,639,754 times
Reputation: 535
PA likes to slow people down needlessly. I've heard that they set up false "work zones" just to slow down the drivers and also make excuses for doling out doubled fines for traffic violations (especially speeding) in those work zones.

However, you have to realize that those work zones may be legitimate. Heaven knows, road crews in PA have maybe a five-month window of opportunity in which they can do a year's worth of road construction and maintenance... because the other seven months are winter.

This is definitely something I won't miss when I move to Texas next month. At least down there, they can do road work year-round... and they probably don't need to do anywhere near as much road work either because they rarely have weather conditions which require the usage of road-destroying salt and snowplows. Ice can destroy road surfaces too, and heaven knows, PA gets plenty of that...!
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Selinsgrove, PA
1,516 posts, read 6,172,209 times
Reputation: 560
You've encountered the Pennsylvania state sign: "Men Working" (and variations thereof). During the "five month window" (as noted above by NWPAguy) we native PAers are hard pressed to find a road without construction on it. Just when you think you've figured out a good way around the construction, up goes another construction zone!

All the reasons above were valid, and depending on what day you're traveling through (weekend or holiday) they may be not working, OR many times they work at night in construction areas.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:41 AM
 
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 7,808,472 times
Reputation: 1586
I always thought that was an excuse for a road in really bad condition. If they say it is "under construction" you are less likly to notice how bad the road is.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:38 PM
 
Location: South Central PA
1,562 posts, read 3,982,007 times
Reputation: 361
If you check out penndot's website, they have lists of the projects due for that year (though some regions they arent updated for like the first 4 months of the year)
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:38 AM
 
2,486 posts, read 2,469,524 times
Reputation: 830
PA the road work is insane.

However, if you were driving to State College, you are aware that they are making it interstate the whole way up to State College, right? That is a project going on and is taking forever. It is always under construction to State College. One day it will be done.

Anyways, What I always do when I travel is get a Rand Mcnally road atlas. Find some small roads, and take them instead. You see more when traveling then driving on a interstate or turnpike.

Just a suggestion. Especailly in Central PA, because there are beautiful roads through there.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Home Sick for Pa
42 posts, read 159,148 times
Reputation: 27
Parkway is is congested with construction too. They are doing a huge project for the 376 corridor that connects to the main 376 highway. Pa does go overboard with construction but because it is growing so rapidly that they are trying to get it done before it gets any faster. It is not so bad really, we work in Greentree right in the heart of that big construction for the 376 corridor.

I would rather deal with construction in Pa than them nasty roads in weirton Wva or the whole state of wva.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:12 PM
 
Location: south central Pa
140 posts, read 797,526 times
Reputation: 119
The trip to State College from Harrisburg is easier then it had been . Rt 22/322 work in the narrows is finally done. A much nicer ride then before (I was at Penn State on July 4th for "4th fest")
As for the Rt.99 from Bedford ...its still a work...in process. Something about acid-rock drainage problems that were being uncovered had work stopped for a few years (if I remember right). Once this project is finished it will make driving from Bedford and Altoona area to State Colege much easier.
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