Route 209 Reopens to Drivers

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BUSHKILL -- A section of Route 209 in the Poconos was fixed just in time for one of the busiest days of the year.

Heavy rains throughout the summer caused the road pavement to crack, and some parts split in half.

Drivers can now finally travel on Route 209, the main road that runs through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area without taking a two mile detour.

For some drivers it's a dream come true.

“It makes it better for people going to Stroudsburg. It makes it better when I go fishing on the Delaware River, hunting on the Delaware River, it makes it very much easier to get there,” said Bridgette Schimmel of Milford.

“It's great. It's finally open with the winter coming, cause I notice where I live in town, a lot of people had to travel through the bypass area and it’s all country roads," said Sophia Altvater of Milford.

For a little more than a year, section of Route 209 was closed to traffic as crews worked to repair cracks in the road caused by damage from last year's heavy rains.

Officials with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area said Route 209 cuts right through the Pennsylvania side of the national park.  It's used mostly by park visitors, commuters and local residents. Park officials said the top priority for the road project was to make the road safer for drivers.

Park officials said 7,000 vehicles travel on Route 209 daily.

One thing drivers are thankful for this holiday is a safer road and no more detours.

“Being as I'm from New Jersey, I no longer have to take the detour to get where I'm going, so I can go straight out 209 instead of going all the way around and adding an extra half hour, 45 minutes to my trip every time,” said Bob Faasse of New Jersey

It costs the federal government $4.3 million to fix the section of Route 209 in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area.