MONTROSE — A community in Susquehanna County is bracing for a summer of construction. A big project is underway to redo Route 706 and that means months of mess in Montrose, including the busy downtown.
Construction workers are on the job along Route 706, a sight drivers around Montrose are getting used to.
Route 706 is the main road through town and a $9 million project is underway to widen it and make improvements.
“Only a few routes in and out of town so you’re going to have to deal with it,” said Christi Andrews.
At Wild-Side Grille, workers say they’re already dealing with it, right out front.
“Oh, it’s been a mess. Hopefully people will still come in. It’s a new restaurant, new food, new things, they’ll give us a try but definitely the construction affects us,” Andrews said.
Even though this is likely to be a slow-going summer, those who use 706 say the road needed work.
“I think it’s definitely something that Montrose needs with all the increased gas traffic that we have here,” said Kathy Doxey. “(It’s going to take) patience for sure!”
The contractor doing the job says its going to be coming right to the heart of downtown in the next few weeks. He says he knows this is going to be a mess, but he says this all should be done by the end of summer.
“There’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of traffic here, there’s a lot of activity here,” said Pat Resti of Leeward Construction.
The contractor is asking for patience as drivers try to cope with all the work.
“I’ve seen most people, the locals at least, try to avoid the greater section of this road, just to sneak through the back streets,” said James McArthur of Montrose.
And even that won’t be easy. The borough says work to bring natural gas service to Montrose will have side streets torn up. That is scheduled to start June.
“If it turns out the way everyone probably has their fingers crossed, it will be a blessing and we’re willing to put up with that,” McArthur added.
Montrose got a grant from the state to help replace some of the trees that are coming down with the Route 706 project.
The contractor hopes that job will be done in August.