Sidewalk Safety Hazard in Downtown Scranton

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SCRANTON -- Shards of glass litter a sidewalk in downtown Scranton and that is causing a lot of confusion among city officials and people who work in the neighborhood.

It's been more than a week since a piece of plate glass fell from a dilapidated building at 324 Penn Avenue and city leaders still need to find out who owns the building.

Robert Weiss of Scranton said for the past week or so he's watched his step and held his breath while walking to work down Penn Avenue.

The downtown sidewalk's been littered with shards of glass since around the time Sandy blew through.  That's when Weiss believes a gust of wind knocked out a piece of plate glass from a second story window.

"A lot of kids that go to the high school come walking down this block, so I'm worried about another pane coming out and somebody getting hurt," Weiss said.

Weiss said the shards have just sat here for days. But, he and his co-workers become more nervous when they look up. He fears it's only a matter of time until another piece of glass comes tumbling down.

"That's frustrating, it not getting taken care of in a timely manner, that's frustrating too, you know?" added Weiss.

The City of Scranton can't come in and board up the building's windows because the building is privately owned. But, workers can come in and block off the sidewalk.

"We've been researching today to find out just who the owner is, seeing how far we have to corner off, contacting our engineer to have him come out and take a look, just to keep everybody safe. We don't want it to happen again but we fear that it will," said Mark Seitzinger, city Director of Codes and Permits.

Seitzinger said he was made aware of the glass this week. He also worries another window could go soon.

But, he said the building is bank-owned and it might take a while to find out which bank.  Once that's settled, the glass can be cleaned up. But, the dilapidated building will also need a new inspection.