SCRANTON — The morning rush hour in Scranton has been anything but a rush this week as crews have been repairing a gas line, alternating lanes on a street that’s already seeing increased traffic.
If you work in downtown Scranton, or try to leave the east side of the city in the morning, you probably already know this week you’ll need more than a few extra minutes.
Starting at 7 a.m. crews from UGI have been out replacing a gas line on Harrison Avenue.
The street is down to one lane. Flaggers alternate lanes until the evening hours and the traffic back up shows you just how heavily traveled the two lane street is.
Workers say at times, the line of cars rounds the corner and stretches far up Moosic Street.
“Yesterday we were in a hurry. I had an appointment and we were sitting on Moosic Street. The traffic was unbelievable. Now we have only two bridges going into the city and both of them are blocked.”
The problem all begins because the nearby Moosic Street bridge is out of commission so Harrison Avenue becomes one of the only direct routes from the highway to downtown and Scranton’s three hospitals.
The Harrison Avenue bridge has become the most direct route for ambulances. Crews have had to stop traffic completely to let them pass. It’s also the route that the hundreds of hospital employees take to work every day. They haven’t been too prompt this week.
“The traffic is atrocious. I’m late for work now and I’m going to be even later.”
Some drivers we talked to say they’re finding other routes, or just budgeting for the time spent sitting.
UGI officials say the work is expected to wrap up at the end of next week.