SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP — Richard Kimble lives on a typically sleepy street in South Abington Township near Clarks Summit, but now it’s become a major detour for drivers, including truck drivers.
“No, that was a surprise. Me and you are standing here talking and there goes an 18-wheeler through. That was a surprise. You don’t see that kind of traffic through this quiet little community at all,” said Kimble.
The reason for the traffic is that crews are restoring a bridge on Edella Road, which is a popular route drivers take through South Abington Township to get to the interstate.
PennDOT said the road will be closed for a month, but this is just the beginning of the construction season in the Clarks Summit area. Crews have already started replacing handicapped ramps on Grove Street in the borough and on the Morgan Highway, the first step in a major paving project.
“We have a whole list of about 12 to 15 roads here in the Abingtons that they’re going to be working on. On top of that they’ll be doing all the typical pothole repair. But this will be an entire resurfacing of the road,” said PennDOT spokesperson James May.
The roadwork on the Morgan Highway will go all the way up to the intersection with Grove Street. Then crews will start paving Grove Street all the way through the borough to Route 407.
That’s both good and bad news for Darnell Smith of Scranton who does contracting work in Clarks Summit during the week and drives a taxi on the weekends.
“I have no problem with the construction because by me being a taxi driver, they show us different ways that we need to go and my dispatcher knows everything that’s going on. But it’s good that they’re doing it because my Jeep and my taxi can get ruined from the roads,” said Smith.
PennDOT officials said the roads being worked on need full replacement because of years of wear and tear. Crews will lay about six inches of new asphalt on those roads starting next week.