Eliminating Dangerous Curves on Route 54

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In Carbon County, crews are fixing what PennDOT calls a stretch of dangerous "S" turns on one busy road, but not everyone is convinced the work will work.

Heavy equipment operators have moved into a stretch of Route 54 in Nesquehoning to correct a series of "S" turns. The $3 million project would eliminate the turns making the road straight.

According to PennDOT, there are several reasons to get rid of the "S" turns. One is over the last 10 years or so there have been four deadly crashes plus many others involving major injuries.

"I was an EMT for years and I saw many accidents up there and I went on many accident scenes that happened up there," said Mike Stianche of Nesquehoning.

His yard is a short distance from Route 54 and the "S" turns. He believes straightening out the road may not reduce the number of crashes and may encourage drivers to speed.

"I just hope they observe the speed limit because if they don't there will probably be more accidents and more fatalities maybe," Stianche added.

Neighbor Len Rehatchek agrees.

"To me all it's going to make is for high speeds," Rehatchek said. "They're flying through here at 40 to 60 miles an hour right now and they're not paying attention and they're crashing and burning so it has to make for higher speed."

Harry Miller has lived along the busy highway for 33 years.

"I am glad they are going through with it, I surely am, and hopefully it is straightening out like that and hopefully they will take their time and there will be no more accidents," said Miller.

PennDOT officials predict the "S" turns will be eliminated within about eight months.