SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP — Warmer weather is here, and that means construction season is kicking in to high gear.
Route 407 in Lackawanna County is used by thousands of vehicles every day, and it intersects with one that gets even more traffic. When you reduce the flow of traffic for paving, it creates all sorts of problems.
Smoke and dust filled the air and there was plenty of noise as well. Before new pavement on Route 407 can go down, the old pavement had to come up.
The grinding started before the sun came up, truck after truck filled with the remains of Route 407.
The construction crew is doing the work in stages. Route 407 from the junction with Routes 6 and 11 in South Abington Township, to Venard Road is getting a new surface. The northbound lanes first , the rest later.
Paul McGuinness gassed up after carefully maneuvering his way through the mess.
“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a lot of fun, but on the other hand, I’m glad we’re getting the roads done.”
McGuinness has a vacation coming up. He hopes the paving is finished by the time he gets back.
Even though PennDOT and the contractor had an army of flag people and traffic directors out, the area where Routes 6 and 11 meet Route 407 was a land of confusion.
People who live and work there were confused. They didn’t know which way to go. Some drove the wrong way. Tempers were short. A PennDOT supervisor says they’re trying to best to get this done, with headaches at a minimum.
“People don’t listen and everything gets clogged up and that’s when people get hurt, and we hope people listen,” said PennDOT supervisor Ed Goy.
With a senior citizens living center and schools in the area, those in traffic control made sure ambulances had access.
Lois White was in the middle of it all. She managed to make it to a medical lab, just off Route 407, for blood work.
“I didn’t know this was going on, and the fact I knew where I was coming helped because I went up the road and came back down,” White said.
White said now that she knows what to look out for, getting out should be easier than getting in.
PennDOT expects the work to last about two weeks.
There are two basic things PennDOT wants you to remember : try to find another way around, or make sure you leave extra time.
Work should run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.