MOOSIC — PennDOT has plans to replace a bridge in Lackawanna County this summer on a street that already has a bridge closed.
The folks stuck in the middle on Main Street in Moosic are concerned about how cars will get in or out of their neighborhood.
Going on three years, Joe Williams of Moosic and his neighbors haven’t been able to use Main Street to get to their homes on Main Street.
This week they got word that their detour around a broken down bridge is about to get more complicated.
“It’s a big concern. All the neighbors are worried about it. Like I said, we only have one road and it has a train track on it. If a train comes by then we’re really in trouble,” Williams said.
Since the spring of 2011, drivers have avoided upper Main Street and instead used a detour on Birney Avenue and then Spring Street.
The detour picks up on lower Main Street only yards away from another bridge that’s scheduled to close on June 10.
PennDOT plans to replace the bridge where Main Street in Moosic becomes Lonesome Road in Old forge.
PennDOT said the state bridge desperately needs replacement but since Lackawanna County hasn’t even started replacing its bridge farther up the street, neighbors said it’s really bad timing.
“We’re in a pickle down here. If we need a fire department or an ambulance, we’re really in a fix. I can’t understand why PennDOT can’t figure it out. It seems like one department doesn’t know what the other department is doing,” said Bill Baldauff of Moosic.
PennDOT spokesperson James May said the state project has been planned since 2009 and repairs can’t wait any longer.
“2011 came and went, 12, 13, and all along the way, we’ve been sort of hoping that that bridge would be done and complete, knowing that we’re at the point with this one, really, it’s a sufficiency of 2 out of 100.”
Lackawanna County officials said funding and utility work tied up the project on their bridge, but it is set to begin in July when PennDOT is in the thick of their project less than a mile down Main Street.
On the other side is Bloomin’ Idiots Garden Center and a few other businesses.
“It’s bad and it’s good, in a way. We won’t have two years left of bridges down. We’ll have one year. But we believe this one’s going to affect us hard because, you know, you’re detouring a detour,” said Jackie Bower of Bloomin’ Idiots Garden Center.
PennDOT said the project should be done by the end of the year.
Lackawanna County officials say the Main Street bridge should reopen next summer.