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Positives & Negatives of PennDOT’s Keyser Avenue Project

SCRANTON — As the $10 million project on Keyser Avenue goes on longer, drivers’ patience is getting shorter.

Aside from some paving and curb work, PennDOT crews are close to the finish line on the project that has snarled traffic and stifled business on Keyser Avenue in Scranton and Taylor for two years.

Back in 2013, Newswatch 16 met the owner of Elaine’s Restaurant on Keyser Avenue who feared her restaurant would close because of the project.

In 2014, it’s now Rich’s Restaurant. New owner Rich Bouselli thinks, in the long run, the road work will help him.

“I think it’s going to improve the area. It’s a great little highway once it gets going. It’s going to help a lot of people, and I think it’s going to bring more people into the area,” Bouselli said.

One longtime business off of Keyser Avenue thinks, in the long run, the new road will be a detriment.

L.A. Lewis Moving and Storage drives moving trucks all over the country.

At the intersection right before the business, PennDOT has now put up a sign barring its trucks from making the turn.

“It’s going to add another 15 to 20 minutes to the trip, and probably another 10 to 15 miles to the trip into our terminal,” owner Dave Lewis said

Lewis’ son has already done the math and found out that extra 20 minute trip will cost them an extra 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year. That will translate into thousands of dollars in fuel and labor costs.

PennDOT said now it’s unsafe for trucks to turn at the intersection of Keyser Avenue and Dalton Street.

PennDOT officials told Newswatch 16 they are working on a compromise for Dave Lewis and his business.

But, the way it stands now:

“Long term this is going to put me out of business, and this business has been serving northeastern Pennsylvania since 1899,” Lewis said.

Lewis does not want his century-old business to close because of one right hand turn. If he can’t come up with a compromise with PennDOT, he said he may have to sue the state.

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