Pierce Street Bridge Work

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A lane of the Pierce Street Bridge connecting Kingston and Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County was shut down Thursday. According to PennDOT officials the west-bound lane will remain closed until the fall.

It is part of a $6 million project to replace the Pierce Street Bridge deck.

"I don't know how you're going to be expected to get across the bridge. This is going to be so bad, I wouldn't even try to drive over here. It's pointless," said Paul Hosey of Dallas.

Already there are traffic headaches in the area. The Market Street Bridge connecting Kingston and Wilkes-Barre is congested too with lane closures around the crumbling Hotel Sterling in Wilkes-Barre, which is slated for demolition.

"We're not even able to come over here to Market Street so I'm actually thinking of going over to the Cross-Valley (Expressway) which is way out of our way, but it beats sitting in traffic," said Mary Jennings of Wilkes-Barre who travels each day to Kingston to take her daughter to school.

"The traffic, it's just, it's crazy and it just makes the Market Street traffic even worse," agreed her husband, Franklin Jennings.

The Pierce Street bridge project is expected to last through May of 2014, a timeline that frustrates many, but as others said, is necessary.

"Knowing of nationwide the various bridge collapses that have occurred, especially in Minneapolis, and this one being 40 years old, I think it's due and we accept the inconvenience which is only temporary," said Carl Hedden of Hazleton.

The current traffic pattern on the Pierce Street bridge is expected to be in place until the fall. Then traffic will be moved to the other side of the bridge.