WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local woman is fed up with potholes. So much so that she’s on a crusade to change the way the county spends money to fix the roads.
A Luzerne County woman has dedicated countless hours to her quest to fix Luzerne County roads. Tuesday night, she pleaded her case before County Council. They call her the ‘Pothole Princess.’
“I like that title,” Cindy Brannan of Mountain Top said.
Brannan is on a crusade to fix the roads in Luzerne County. She says it all started in May.
“My oldest son called, and we had just replaced two tires on his 2017 Jetta. He was driving down South Church Road and he blew those brand new tires out,” Brannan said.
Brannan says her family of four had now lost eight tires and two rims to Luzerne County’s weathered roads.
“It was at that moment I said ‘enough’ and it just sort of snowballed into where we are today,” Brannan said.
Brannan started reaching out to county officials and started a Facebook group. She wanted to know what it would take for the county to redo the roads rather than continue to patch potholes.
According to County Council, it costs anywhere from $350,000 to $475,000 per mile. Brannan rounded up to $500,000 and figured it would cost $5 million for the county to fix 10 miles of road over the next 10-20 years.
“So it’s going to be a five-to-ten year process even if we do get new money,” councilwoman Lee Ann McDermott said.
Brannan started pushing for county officials to ask for that amount in the 2022 budget. Instead, the budget Acting County Manager Romilda Crocamo submitted to council on October 12th had only $200,000 going to road repairs and maintenance.
Tuesday, Brannan addressed the council and gave each member a binder full of pictures submitted by her Facebook group.
“We will be watching your actions closely on December 15th, please show us that you realize your obligation to safety and that you will be taking the first steps toward fixing our roads properly,” Brannan said.
Eyewitness News asked for Crocamo’s response. She said she appreciates Brannan’s ideas and enthusiasm.
“We need to have serious discussions about the state of our roads and bridges. With the influx of federal monies, we will have the opportunity to invest in transformational infrastructure. The county needs to look ahead and build for tomorrow,” Crocamo said.
Crocamo says she looks forward to more discussions with Brannan. The road does not end here and Eyewitness News will be following up on the situation.