LUZERNE COUNTY — A PennDOT project with a price tag of almost $42 million continued in Luzerne County on Thursday.
According to PennDOT, on Tuesday, March 25, the northbound and southbound ramps of exit 178A on Interstate 81 will be closed.
Exits 178 A and B will be combined, which means the exit will be for drivers heading to Avoca or the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
It’s all part of the Airport Reconstruction Project.
On Thursday morning, crews shut down one lane to place new beams on an old bridge. Construction crews installed beams on the bridge over Plane Street in Avoca.
Traffic was backed up for miles.
Timothy Bufford manages Best Value Passenger Service at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. He said driving in the construction area has been a bit of a pain.
“It gets very congested, multiple times a day. The project itself is going to be a great thing once it`s done. It`s just trying to get to that point. ”
This bridge work is just part of the Airport Reconstruction Project.
“When this work is done and the bridge is complete, this bridge will actually be wider than it is now,” said James May, a Regional Press Director for PennDOT.
Over the next few months, there will be more projects along this stretch of I-81, like re-constructing the exits to the airport.
“When you go to get off at the airport, you have to make that real sharp turn. So, there`s been some safety concerns with that,” said May.
PennDOT also plans to design a new road to the industrial park.
May said that road should help eliminate tractor trailer traffic on the interstate.
“A new road going from the exit back to the industrial park, so it will be good for economic development.”
PennDOT expects the reconstruction project to be complete by August of 2015.