PennDOT: More Work Needed on Keyser Avenue

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SCRANTON -- One of Scranton's busiest streets is difficult to navigate because there's even more construction going on along the ripped up street.

PennDOT felt that Keyser Avenue needed additional work.

Workers are a few months into the $10 million overhaul of Keyser Avenue in Scranton, but drivers may feel that the busy road is regressing.

The first step was to replace utility lines under the road and contractors soon found that the problems here were more than skin deep. Keyser Avenue needed more utility work than PennDOT bargained for, and what went on underground had a big impact on the road that meets your tires.

"From the public's standpoint, they have seen the work being done but they haven't really seen the improvement and the road is normally worse than it was before the work had started," said PennDOT spokesperson James May.

May said they decided to speed up the paving phase of the project and spend more money doing it. So, crews started another $3 million project this week to replace two and a half miles of Keyser Avenue from McDade Park to Oak Street in Taylor.

The paving has been creating traffic tie-ups. An employee of Elaine's Restaurant on Keyser Avenue told Newswatch 16 she sat for 30 minutes with the restaurant in sight waiting for the traffic to move.

That's been about the average wait time for drivers in a line that sometimes stretches out of sight.

"20 or 25 minutes both ways, so it's really hard to get back and forth and still be efficient. I don't like spending my day in traffic," said James Heckman of Hazleton.

PennDOT officials said the silver lining is that Keyser Avenue will be a whole new road once the paving is done. That work is expected to be done in December.

The complete Keyser Avenue project will extend into 2014.

1 Comment

  • bobc74

    Traffic tie-ups on Keyser Ave. I’ve lost count on how many construction projects are currently going on I-81 between Wilkes-Barre and Clarks Summitt Numerous tie-ups for demolition and construction projects in Scranton. Might as well just drop the tolls on the Northeast Extension of the Turnpike and close 81 at Bear Creek. Make the Turnpike an “Expressway” going to Binghamton (after rejoining 81N with all other points in between closed off.

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