OLD FORGE -- Beginning next week, traffic in a busy part of Old Forge will be detoured while PennDOT works to replace a bridge. Recently, the state labeled the bridge which spans the Lackawanna River one of the worst in the state.
Agostini's Bakery has sat just south of the Lackawanna River in Old Forge for 107 years. And its delivery trucks have crossed the steel bridge on Main Street several times a day for decades to get to customers elsewhere in Lackawanna County.
It has also been a long time that owner Bob Agostini has been expecting the bridge to close for repairs.
"Well, we're going to see I guess. There are other means of getting around that bridge but it's definitely a thruway and it's probably going to hurt," Agostini said.
But, Agostini says, a new bridge is necessary.
PennDOT labeled the bridge over the Lackawanna River as one of the worst bridges in the state. You can see the river rushing below through the bridge surface. Fences were put up to protect pedestrians a few months ago.
"It's a little scary once in a while. I just feel sorry, for the truckers because they're going to have to do a big detour. They're going to have to go to Duryea to get to the other side of the bridge," said Ted Sobuta of Old Forge.
The detour isn't too far out of the way, that is if you're in a car. The detour has a height restriction. So, trucks that are too tall will have to go much farther.
The detour, which was set up over the weekend, takes you over an adjacent span on Bridge Street in Old Forge. But, trucks will need to go through three boroughs instead, Duryea, Avoca, then Moosic.
"It's going to be tough. The bridge at Main Street in Moosic is still closed so we have a long way to go around anyway," added Phil Scavo, also of Old Forge.
The detour around the Main Street bridge in Old Forge is already in operation, but, PennDOT officials say the bridge won't close until next week.