Pothole Patching Leads to Traffic in Lackawanna County

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A brand new week, and again today drivers hit backed up traffic on the most heavily-traveled section of Interstate 81 in our area because of construction.

It was a common sight just outside of our Newswatch 16 studios, drivers came around the corner, caught a glimpse of Interstate 81 northbound, and tried to back out of their commitment.

The highway was a miles-long parking lot for most of the day catching many drivers off guard.

From Moosic north through Scranton, drivers sat while crews from PennDOT patched potholes. PennDOT officials said the work will take more than a week to finish. Workers will move to the southbound side in a few days.

They said winter weather was rough on this older part of the highway.

"Right now it's all potholes, all ripped up it needs to be redone. So I'm glad to see that," said driver Cindy Harrington.

Traffic will be down to one lane in the area where crews are working. But on the busy section of I-81, the back up starts long before.

Many drivers tired of waiting in traffic got off Interstate 81 on Davis Street in Scranton. But, that didn't necessarily mean drivers avoided the problem.

"Everybody's trying to divert and a lot of people don't know which way they're going. And then you end up bottlenecked down there, but you know, it is what it is," said Billy Gabriel of Carbondale.

Especially during the peak hours, lunch breaks and quitting time, drivers only had to decide where they would sit and wait in traffic.

"I have tried to find alternate routes, but everything gets backed up when 81 is backed up," added Tara Albert of Scranton.

PennDOT crews are trying to fix the pothole problem best they can for now. But the stretch of 81 from Moosic to Dunmopre is on the schedule to be repaved, sometime in the next few years.