Eric Frein in Custody

Bridge Project Delayed Due to Cold Weather

CHERRY RIDGE TOWNSHIP — A bridge project in Wayne County that was supposed to be wrapping up this month may not be finished until July.

Crews have been working and not working on the project for more than a year now.

The bridge carries the Owego Turnpike over Route 191 south of Honesdale.

It’s usually a busy road but the bridge is closed even though contractors hoped it could open ahead of schedule this past Christmas.

It will likely stay closed for a few more months.

The bridge construction site along the Owego Turnpike in Cherry Ridge Township is pretty much a ghost-town. Tarps cover some of the partially rebuilt bridge over Route 191.

A large board with all sorts of signs is knocked down.

And the detour is still in place more than a year later. It’s enough to drive some folks to wonder why the bridge project isn’t a done deal.

“It’s a good day to work, you kind of ask yourself why, why’s nobody working,” said Alfred Buccola of the Honesdale area.

Folks who live near the bridge and even people who don’t live nearby but have to travel this route often have to wait even longer after the colder weather stopped work.

Tara Korb and her family live along the detour route and have to put up with the traffic on Shuman Road longer than expected.

“The noise has increased ten fold. Definitely lots of trucks going by all the time,” she said.

Leeward Construction has been working on the bridge project and says it was prepared to go forward with a cold pour of that concrete deck. PennDOT didn’t want that and wants warmer temperatures before Leeward can complete the project which means waiting a couple more weeks before crews are back out on the job.

“I can understand they can’t pour concrete when it’s below zero. Stuff like that. Got to have a little understanding,” said Buccola.

A PennDOT spokesperson said the concrete has to wait because if it’s poured in cold weather, any excess water could freeze on the busy Route 191 below.

Still, the waiting game has not been easy for Korb and others who live near the Owego Turnpike bridge who may have a few more months to go.

“Not looking forward to that, I was really anticipating a quick return here. Seeing the crane hasn’t moved in the last month and a half. I had a feeling something was up.”

The $1.6 million bridge project is meant to make more room under the bridge for oversized loads to travel Route 191.

April was the target date and now it looks like summer before the project could wrap up.

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