PennDOT: Bridge Project Causes Cave In

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ROARING BROOK TOWNSHIP -- Work crews in Lackawanna County were out making emergency repairs on a stretch of road that's already under repair.

Part of Route 435 in Roaring Brook Township was closed Tuesday morning.

It's rare to see a contractor in a hard hat out directing traffic but, he said it was the easiest way to keep traffic moving when crews shut down this stretch of Route 435 near Elmhurst.

Paul Guse relies on the road to make his deliveries for work and decided to wait it out as crews made emergency repairs.

"I called the office and they told me to wait because they need the part. I go to a garage on Drinker Street. Now, I wait."

A bridge on Route 435 is being replaced, but the workers were out fixing the one remaining lane that's been open since July.

"Quarter to 8 this morning, I was there, and it was very, very bad."

About two months into the $2 million bridge project, the workers noticed that part of the road right next to the bridge was caving in. The contractor says it's a combination of factors up top: more traffic, so more pressure on only one lane of the bridge. And down on the ground, rain runoff has caused some of the dirt to roll away.

"The road began to settle and cars would come through and bottom out. It was an area that we wanted to address in part for safety and just for the sake of the cars coming through here," explained James May of PennDOT.

Crews filled the hole with asphalt. They say though the road is sinking, the bridge is still safe to drive over. They reopened a more level road a few hours later. Drivers who travel Route 435 often say it was worth the wait to make the ride smoother.

"I hit it kind of hard yesterday, pretty rough."

The new bridge on Route 435 is expected to be done next spring. Contractors hope the ground has stopped sinking so they don't have to make this emergency repair again.