Weather permitting, paving of the popular asphalt path atop the Wyoming Valley Levee is set to begin Monday, according to the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority.
Repairing of the asphalt cracks and bumps has been on the authority’s wish list for years and is now possible because the state recently awarded a $100,000 grant from casino gambling revenue to help cover it, said authority Executive Director Christopher Belleman.
The paving contract was awarded to Forty Fort-based Banks Sealcoat Company LLC for $213,100, with the remainder of the expense funded by the authority.
Banks Sealcoat will start work on the stretch from Forty Fort to Wyoming on Monday, said Belleman. The Swetland Lane parking lot off Wyoming Avenue will be temporarily closed to public use.
The authority asks the public to stay off this stretch until it announces the work has been completed. Barricades and signs will be added to keep people out of all work areas.
Public alerts will be issued on work schedules for the other spans.
The contractor plans to complete the entire 12-mile project in six weeks, the authority said. It will include shoulder repairs and the removal of approximately 60 obsolete brass-disc location identifiers that the Army Corps of Engineers embedded in concrete in the path, said Belleman.
Some of these discs have lifted up and could create a tripping hazard. The widespread use of GPS made these identifiers unnecessary.
However, Belleman said white line painting will be added to the pavement to mark specific locations for emergency response purposes.
The path was added more than 20 years ago as part of the levee-raising project.
It was designed primarily for vehicles to access the levee for maintenance and Susquehanna River flood monitoring without causing ruts and other damage. Bikers, joggers and walkers instantly gravitated to the path for recreation.
Belleman expects the public will appreciate the return of a smooth surface.
“It will look really good when all is said and done,” he said.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.