UPDATE: Road Reopens After Blasting Debris Slides Down Hill

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MOUNTAIN TOP — Routine blasting at a construction site in Luzerne County closed a busy road for several hours Tuesday.

According to PennDOT, Route 309 between Mountain Top and Wilkes-Barre was closed in both directions after debris from blasting ended up in the roadway.

Officials said the ground gave way around 11:30 a.m. and the road was reopened around 3 p.m.

PennDOT said contractors did not realize that the rock at the blasting site was less stable than in other areas along the rock cut.

“As soon as they blasted it, that`s when it all went down the hill, down the mountain, sort of like a soupy avalanche that came down onto the road,” said James May. “It went right under this jersey barrier, over top of the jersey barrier, so we will have to replace some of that.”

The busy stretch of Route 309 is typically closed for ten minutes during the planned blasting, but some drivers were frustrated when they found out about the closure that lasted more than three hours.

“"It's terrible. Everybody is backed up constantly. I make a time to be down here and I’m an hour and a half late sometimes. There’s really no winning,” said David Kizer.

PennDOT officials said blasting work is expected to continue this week and the safety enhancement project is on schedule and should be completed by the end of this fall.