Lane Johnson joins Holme Circle paving crew

The Eagles offensive tackle appeared with local officials Sept. 11 to tout the city’s roads program.

Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson operates a paving truck Tuesday, Sept. 11, during an event held in Holme Circle to promote the city’s paving program. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTOS

Eagles Pro Bowl offensive tackle Lane Johnson joined Mayor Jim Kenney, city officials and road workers in Holme Circle Tuesday, Sept. 11, to promote increased investment in the city’s roads program.

Johnson hopped onto a truck and helped crews pave a section of Welsh Road near Holme Avenue. The football star compared the work to what he does as an offensive lineman, creating lanes for running backs and the quarterback.

“It’s kind of what I do on the field,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who sported a green “Pave the Lane” T-shirt, took photos with workers, and a few of them even got him to sign their fluorescent vests.

“It was fun,” Johnson said after operating the paver. “I had a good time with the workers.”

City officials held the event to promote the Kenney administration’s plan to invest $178 million in repaving roads over the next six years. They also highlighted the recent addition of a second paving crew to the city’s Department of Streets.

“We appreciate our citizens’ patience. It’s getting done,” Kenney said. “We’ll get as much done before winter gets heavy, then we’ll start again in the spring. We will get to everyone.”

Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams said this past winter caused a lot of damage to roads around the city. So far this year, the city has filled more than 55,000 potholes — more than double last year’s total, he said.

Kenney asked residents to report potholes to 311.

State Rep. Ed Neilson also attended the event. He said his parents live nearby, adding that Welsh Road has been a “nightmare” for years.

“It’s been years since a mayor actually put significant dollars in our infrastructure,” Neilson said. “Thank you, Mayor Kenney, for your investment in Northeast Philadelphia.”

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com