WILKES-BARRE — The ride for drivers in the Wyoming Valley should get easier. Construction on the Pierce Street Bridge connecting Wilkes-Barre and Kingston is coming to an end.
If you’ve driven over the Pierce Street Bridge between Kingston and Wilkes-Barre in the past couple of years, you probably know it’s been a little hectic.
“Felt longer than three years. Felt like about five years.”
“You felt like you were kind of white-knuckling it because there was such a small corridor.”
But the white knuckles, the long wait at lights, and the always-changing traffic patterns are coming to an end.
“They actually got caught up, and got a little ahead of schedule so they’re hoping to have it done by the end of the week,” said KCI Technologies inspector Gary Cutter.
All that’s left now is a little milling and paving.
Workers and drivers alike say they’re thrilled this project is finally almost over so all of this can return to normal.
“It’s about time.”
“It’s been really bad having this bridge out of service for so long. It’s about time it reopens. Way overdue as far as I’m concerned.”
And just in time for July Fourth weekend.
“Oh, I think it’s fabulous.”
Larena Meltzer of Kingston lives near the roadwork. She’s excited for much more than just a smooth drive over the river.
“The noises and the smells, that to me would be perfect, getting rid of those completely,” said Meltzer.
“Within a couple days, when they have all the pavement and the new bridge to go across, there’ll be lots of big smiles going across this bridge,” said Cutter.
Work started on the Pierce Street Bridge, also called the Veterans Memorial Bridge, because of potholes in the deck and lack of maintenance. But workers say after this extensive project, they shouldn’t need to repair the bridge for a long time.