frank, a while back you said that the road rebuilding that the industry has done was nothing special, just what was necessary because they had destroyed them.
instead of looking back to find that comment, i thought i would start this thread to make you aware of the real situation, in the hope that you can better appreciate what the industry has done to improve rural life where they operate.
first, let me paint you a picture of rural state roads here in my, and neighboring townships in bradford county pa before the gasicane.
no, they really sucked. they were a few layers of asphalt over occasional rocks and dirt which turned to mud in the spring when the asphalt has the consistency of a damp sponge.
get the picture?
so along comes the gas industry, with heavy trucks making many trips and before ya knew it, the roads were destroyed...because they were never built to withstand even the moderate traffic which they took before the gascos arrived.
lots of folks think that the state made the gascos fix the roads, which in some cases they did, but before the state made any such orders, chesapeake had requested that they be allowed, at their expense, to upgrade these inferior rural roads.
the reason? those roads were beating the crap out of their, and their subcontractors trucks.
fast forward to today, and what you will see is penndot and chk roads throughout bradford county. there is no comparison, believe me. folks avoid the state roads whenever possible in favor of the chk roads. it's easier on their cars and trucks and doesnt make my false teeth end up on the floor of the truck.
chk dug out 3 feet of base and installed concreted ballast so that their roads would have a stable base. their roads were built to last, and they are.
there were other things that they did too which went above and beyond what they should have been required to do, such as installing drain tile the full length of every road they built on both sides to ensure adequate drainage...again, longevity in mind. also, on both sides of every road, stone berms were installed for safety instead of the typical penndot ditches to flip your car over if you slid off the road a little.
honestly, the only problems so far with any of the chk roads is the damage penndot has done to them through neglect and carelessness. in winter, instead of lifting the wingplows penndot scrapes those nice stone berms out into peoples' yards ;leaving them a mess to clean up in the spring. when a recent flood washed out ditches exposing the edge of the asphalt on some roads, penndot ignored the situation long enough for some sections to begin collapsing.
after some chk road jobs, local folks erected plywood signs thanking chk for the nice new roads. they paid for them afterall, and without that, we would never ever have had decent roads to travel here.
that was nice to see, a little sign of appreciation. a gesture. a thanks. kinda neighborly dont ya think?
anyway, someday i hope you regain your neighborliness, your sense of civility and start appreciating some of the positive things that the industry has brought to us instead of constantly focusing on the negatives.
and besides, we aint gettin' no younger you 'n' me. it'd be a shame to live out our lives miserable.
at least i aint gonna. im gonna say thanks where thanks is due.
of course...im also gonna remain vigilant...diligent where my minerals are concerned.
afterall, at the end of the day, this is still just business. right?
Just to be accurate, most the roads that get torn up are local township roads, not PENNDoT roads. These roads started out as local dirt roads, had some stone added at some point, then were oiled for dust and later tarred and chipped. Never designed properly from the start.
But a good story. Many GasCos have been doing great road work, even putting new bridges where needed. Often the very first thing they do is redo the access roads since they know the roads will collapse and need replaced anyway.
the upgraded and repaired roads.
and yes, it was the industry's presence which necessitated the upgrades due to the increased heavier traffic, but we are all much better off for it i'm sure you'll agree.
one other thing that was immediately apparent during the upgrades was, the speed with which these jobs were accomplished. not your typical unionized snails pace with summer long delays due to protracted construction schedules. those guys worked! and i never encountered a situation where i couldnt get through after a short delay. major penndot jobs usually involve an inconvenient detour, but chk's jobs let traffic pass even though both traffic lanes had been completely removed for the upgrades. i think corbett should offer aubrey the job of secretary of transportation in pennsylvania since he's got some free time on his hands now.
and think of the hundreds of millions of dollars that the state saved since the gascos were footing the bill!
now we have the impact fee that so many tax and spenders insisted on. since the passage of that fee, chk hasnt built a road in my area and i suspect statewide. it's only fair i suppose, they pay millions for the impacts that they create, why should they fix the impacts too. the state gets money to do that now.
a couple of problems though.
first, the state collects the impact fee and then disburses it to the counties and townships, many of which have no impacts. philadelphia even gets money from the fee and they dont even want marcellus gas for cryin' out loud, let alone that they would never allow drilling down there. where northeast pa was long ignored politically, we are now seen as a cash cow for the rest of the state to milk to their hearts' content.
second, the impact fee revenues are being spent on things that mostly arent related to the gas industry or its' impacts. where is the state gonna come up with the money to fix serious impacts if they ever arise if they spent the impact fees on parks and recreation and teachers unions?
thats what happens when government gets involved. they screw up every good thing that comes along...guaranteed.
alot of the roads in my area were done before the impact fee was passed...mine was not. luck of the draw i suppose, and i aint ever been lucky at nothin'. but a week ago they put up construction signs on my road and started replacing culverts. that can only mean one thing i think...yup, i'm gonna get a brand new crappy penndot road that'll fall apart in a year or 2. all so philadelphia could have another million bucks to flush down the toilet which is their self made fiscal debacle.
but life goes on....
no jim, accurately speaking, these are state roads...penndots' responsibility. they built them and they maintain them. until chk came along.
in my township, the majority of township roads are dirt, and chk has also improved them tremendously, at their expense again.
i wouldnt have thought that there could be much improvement possible on dirt roads, but chk widens them for safety, (and so trucks can pass since they werent wide enough for 2 cars to pass before), and cleans any obstructions from the sides of the road like rock outcrops that impinge the roadway. they also add alot of rock to the roadbed to help keep them from washing away and prevent potholes. typically our township graded off the dirt roads once a year, usually in the spring and then puts the dirt back in the road for traffic to beat back down. once in a while they clean a ditch out here and there.
i met a penndot inspector a year or so ago. i stopped my truck and rolled down my window so we could talk. i said i was glad to see him awake and all, and maybe before his next nap he could take a look and see how a gas company can embarrass his state agency soooo bad.
suddenly the conversation was over. i think he got the point though.
wj; thats hilarious!
If anyone doesn't believe all this, there are a few roads around here that CHK didn't re-build. I would gladly take them for a ride. And these were the better roads previously.
if ya go with wayne, just dont take a cup of coffee with ya, no way that most of it wont end up on the floor or seat.
he would be very put out.
It would be great if CHK took over the turn pike commision than you wouldn't mind paying to ride on a nice highway.
and you'd be paying an american company!
The turnpike was to originally be a toll road till it's cost of being built was paidoff, now it's just a cash cow being milked for all it's worth.
"okay.....enough about roads.....already! let's talk about important things"
the important thing...the purpose of this discussion frank, is that you begin to understand that although it may seem to you that on balance the industry presence in our areas is a net negative, the truth is very different.
and frank...be happy, i created this thread just for you, just look at the extra attention you have garnered here.
that's gotta make you happy.