DANVILLE — Traffic was backed up for several blocks in Danville, as dozens of cars inched along, trying to cross the Danville-Riverside Bridge.
“Well, I’m thinking that I’ll be about a half hour, right, to get over the bridge? More than that? When it should be five minutes, not even,” Jenny Newcomb said.
The reason for the traffic tie-up? PennDOT is repaving a two-mile section of Route 54 on the other side of the Susquehanna in Riverside. Part of Route 54 is down to one lane. That had traffic backed up in both directions.
“My daughter lives in Riverside and it took her an hour and a half yesterday to get over to Danville to our house,” Bob Bomboy said.
Gretchen Osterman of Bloomsburg wanted to shop at a store in Riverside, but crossing the Danville-Riverside bridge took her a lot longer than she expected.
“It was about 25 minutes, I was surprised. From Danville to Riverside? Yeah. And normally that’s about a five-minute drive, if that? Yeah,” Gretchen Osterman said.
PennDOT is advising people to take alternate routes or take extra time for travel, but most of the people we spoke to said they wish they would have known that before they left this morning.
“We were on 54 and I tried to take a detour and it didn’t really help that much,” Newcomb said.
Earlier this summer, the Danville-Riverside Bridge was congested when a railroad crossing was replaced in Riverside.
But Gretchen Osterman said she is more worried about safety.
“I was more concerned that there weren’t any police outside helping merge traffic correctly. It was a little dangerous on 11 coming across the bridge,” Osterman said.
PennDOT said the temporary inconvenience was necessary to get that two-mile section of Route 54 back in shape.