Residents and tourists heading to the Marshalls Creek area of the Poconos can breathe a sigh of relief.
On Monday night the long-awaited Marshalls Creek Bypass project is expected to open to traffic. The project should alleviate some traffic headaches.
Route 209 in Marshalls Creek connects Interstate 80 to tourist destinations throughout the Poconos.
It is heavily traveled and residents will tell you it has been the cause of major traffic headaches.
"I will sit in this road sometimes for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, just sit here, not moving," complained Jacinth Stapleton of Marshalls Creek.
"Especially on the weekends, it's very hectic, so much backed up. We spend 15, 20 minutes to reach there to here," said Elizabeth Evans of Marshalls Creek.
Starting Monday night, drivers will be able use a section of the long-awaited Marshalls Creek Bypass to get around without having to wait in long lines of traffic.
"There may be some slow-down at the traffic signal behind me but you'll have a round about at the lower end. So you're going to save yourself 20 to 25 minutes by using this bypass," explained Michael Rebert of PennDOT.
As an early celebration, many of the officials who made the bypass possible throughout its nearly 30 years of planning and construction cut the ribbon to the newest gateway to the Poconos.
"We're expecting probably at least two-thirds of the cars that were using 209, that would go through the village of Marshalls Creek, to now use the bypass. So that takes us somewhere around 15,000 cars a day," Rebert added.
"I'm happy. I'm very happy. Finally we have a bypass," Stapleton said.
"It's finally here. We are very grateful for it," Evans added.
The new bypass will be part of Route 209 and the current route will be known only as Seven Bridges Road.
There is still more work to be done. According to PennDOT, the entire Marshalls Creek Bypass is expected to be finished next year.
When the new section opens, Seven Bridges Road will temporarily shut down for the entire week as crews finish construction on the roundabout.