WRIGHT TOWNSHIP — PennDOT blames the cold weather for a road in Luzerne County buckling so bad that a section of the road is closed indefinitely.
Drivers traveling on Route 437 are seeing message boards and signs warning that a section of the road is closed. The reason: PennDOT says Mother Nature has created a dangerous condition by buckling the road. Route 437 is a major link between Mountain Top and White Haven.
“It’s pretty nasty. I mean, even with your seat belt on, you jump out of your seat. It’s a nice bump. It started in the middle of the road and then made its way across the road,” said Carol O’Brien of Dennison Township.
It’s difficult to see the bump because of the snow. PennDOT has an official name for it. It’s called a hydraulic push.
“The groundwater under the road is freezing and when water freezes, it expands and what it’s doing and when it expands, it pushes the road up and what we have here is a two- foot high bump in the road,” explained PennDOT spokesman James May.
PennDOT says the bump can cause a driver to lose control.
John O’Brien agrees.
“I was airborne, he thought he was in the Dukes of Hazard needed my Dixie horn,” O’Brien said. “It was pretty unexpected.”
A four-mile detour has been set up. Carol O’Brien worries about her daughter using the detour.
“Tunnel road is not the best road either and being a new driver, it’s scary. It’s going to affect her a lot.”
PennDOT officials say crews won’t be able to make repairs on Route 437 until the weather warms.