Residents Upset Over Truck Traffic

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Residents in one Luzerne County community said they are fed up with the amount of tractor-trailer traffic coming through their small borough.

People in White Haven said it has been a problem for years.

Wednesday night borough officials held a public meeting with state leaders to discuss this on-going issue.

Still PennDOT said the overweight trucks have permits to use Route 940 and they are allowed to be on it.

Within a matter of 15 minutes, three overweight tractor-trailers made their way down Route 940, also known as Berwick Street, in White Haven.

As they did, they passed by Francis and Joan Bean's house.

The couple said they are extremely concerned with the amount of truck traffic coming through the borough.

“Now it's a sheer horror, it's noise, it's dirt, it's dirtying our home,” said Francis Bean.

White Haven officials held a community meeting Wednesday night with PennDOT and Republican State Representative Tarah Toohil.

One of the goals was to clarify the confusion over why the trucks are not allowed on Interstate 80 and forced to use Route 940.

“There's a truck every 10 minutes, sometimes less, going in and out of our borough with fly ash and it's a problems because it's a constant wear and tear on our roads and our residents were unprepared for this type of invasion,” said Linda Szoke, White Haven borough council president.

Sam Galante with PennDOT said the trucks have special permits to use Route 940 as an alternate route.

He said the rigs weigh 95,000 pounds, which exceeds the weight limit for Interstate 80.

Galante added the trucks are carrying non-divisible loads which are banned by federal law from interstates.

“If something should happen out there, they cannot unload that out on the road,” explained Galante. “In other words, if you have a piece of equipment, you would be able to split that into two or into three if necessary, if there was a situation on the interstate, but these trucks you cannot do that and the federal government is not going to allow them on those roads.”

Toohil said having trucks on other roads could cause bigger issues.

“Other detours that you would make them take they would go through six more municipalities, so that's another thing that you don't want,” said Toohil.

Still, people in White Haven said they have dealt with this for years and want some better options.

“We are afraid to sit out on the porch here anymore,” said Joan Bean. “I am afraid they'll come right in.”

Since the trucks are permitted to use Route 940, one suggestion was to talk with the trucking companies to see if they would reduce the amount of trucks they are sending through the borough.