LONG POND – Cars zip around the Tricky Triangle at Pocono Raceway in Monroe County, but traffic outside the track hits a standstill most race weekends.
“You could have the greatest day of your life at the racetrack, but if you sit in traffic if you have a bad time, that’s the one thing you’re going to remember so we want to alleviate that,” said Pocono Raceway President and CEO Brandon Igdalsky.
Pocono Raceway officials say that’s all changing thanks to $5 million the governor says is now going to help widen Route 115 between Route 903 and the track – a main drag into the raceway.
It’s the same road where Robert Monaghan lives and operates an auto repair shop.
“I think it would be good for the businesses and the community. The traffic during the races and stuff people would be able to get in and out much faster,” said Monaghan.
PennDOT says the project is only going to be in the design stages this summer and construction won’t begin for a while. The raceway still doesn’t know exactly how wide the road will be or how many lanes this $8 million project could create.
“We’re leaving that to the professionals. It’s their roads, they’ll tell us what they can do out there, and we’ll take whatever they can give us as long as we can get something done,” said Igdalsky.
Some people who live along this stretch of Route 115 say these plans to widen the road make them nervous because there’s not much space between the road and their homes to begin with.
“Well, I hope they go on the opposite side where there’s no homes. Because our land near the road is pretty narrow now. You know, keep chopping away where am I going to go?” asked Elizabeth Henning of Tunkhannock Township.
Henning has lived in her home since before the raceway was built and doesn’t know what this next construction project will bring for her and other homes and businesses nearby that sit very close to the road. But even she realizes a change is needed to help these backups.
“We’ve been dealing with it for a while now and I can see that they do need to widen it,” said Henning.