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Interstate 81 Traffic Split Causing Confusion

DUNMORE — Just like death and taxes, roadwork is one of life’s certainties when the weather starts to get warmer. So, it’s not uncommon to see brake lights along Interstate 81 in Dunmore when there’s traffic, but now you’ll see them for a different reason.

“When I go there every day, I know which way to go, but I see some people they just dart last second because they don’t realize they have to get off,” said Mike Pietrowski of Taylor.

We saw a lot of the same on Interstate 81 northbound right before the Dunmore/Throop exit. Now the highway splits in two sending half of the traffic on the exit ramp.

“I drive up that way probably three, four times a week to get to work, and I probably try to look for some alternate routes sometimes because you never know what’s going to happen there. It’s very dangerous,” said Judy Bush of Dunmore.

PennDOT crews put out the orange barrels and covered up the exit signs last week while road crews work on the interstate a little farther north. So far, PennDOT says there haven’t been many complaints or any crashes but our cameras caught a few close calls.

PennDOT officials say it’s kind of like a lesser of two evils. They decided to do the split so there are always two lanes of Interstate 81 open even when they’re working on it.

The other option was to keep part of I-81 north to one lane. It could cause traffic backups but drivers are perhaps more used to that.

“When they first actually started the construction, I had no idea that was happening and I almost hit a couple of those pylon or cone things that they have there,” said Kerri Green of Dunmore.

Drivers have a few months to get used to the traffic change on I-81 north. Work is supposed to finish on July 1.


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