A road construction project in Monroe County that took decades to plan and is taking years to build is expected to be completed this year.
Crews are still moving a lot of dirt and cutting into surrounding mountains to make way for the Marshalls Creek Bypass Project.
The project is designed to alleviate traffic back-ups in that area, but not everyone is convinced the project will work or is needed now.
You can’t miss the construction zone for the project on Route 209 in Marshalls Creek.
The bright orange construction signs, the equipment and sections of mountain leveled off to make way for a road.
If you ask some residents about the project they are not happy.
“I just think its a mess. I think the whole thing is a mess. Sure we have this bottle neck here, but they could other things less drastic,” said Robert Waltner of Middle Smithfield Township.
A PennDOT spokesperson said the road construction project has been in the works for many years and the plans have changed a few times.
The new roads are being built and will allow drivers to bypass the center of Marshalls Creek where Routes 209 and 402 merge.
Waltner, a resident of 20 years, disagrees. “They’re just shifting traffic from this area, the Marshalls Creek area, farther north up 209,” he said.
A roundabout is one of the main portions of the Marshalls Creek Bypass project. Vehicles will enter the roundabout and go in a circle until they have to exit. The vehicles will yield. No one will stop because the roundabout will not have traffic lights.
The bypass will provide a more direct route into Pike County but residents believe they have a better plan, changing Route 209 into three lanes and changing the direction of traffic.
“Or in the morning when people are going to work you’ll have two lanes coming out and then at night when they’re coming home. Or on the weekends, you’ll have two lanes going up towards Bushkill,” Waltner added.
The Marshalls Creek Bypass project is expected to be done by this December.
Crews will be putting in the roads by the spring.