Relief after Years of Traffic in Schuylkill Haven

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SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — For nearly three years, a widening project along Route 61 in Schuylkill County has been backing up traffic. Some called it a nightmare for drivers.

Now, many are celebrating as the project comes to an end.

This hasn’t been a normal sight in Schuylkill Haven — traffic flowing freely along Route 61.

Since the beginning of 2014, construction crews and cones lined this road during a nearly three-year road widening project.

“It was terrible,” said Sean David Gould. “Normally it takes us 45 minutes down to Reading. It was taking us an hour and a half to get down to work.”

Gould’s morning commute to work is about to get better, as the road project here is finally ending. Route 61 through the borough has been widened, new drainage has been put in, and traffic lights have been updated.

“It was ridiculous,” Gould added. “Now, it open, it’s nice. I switched jobs. I work in Haven now so I can get through here so quick.”

“Construction started, like, two weeks after we opened, actually,” John Norcker. “So it’s been pretty much the whole time we have been here, and it definitely…┬ásometime our parking lot would be closed, people couldn’t get in. They would have to drive around the building.”

Norcker, the owner of Trina’s Tresses Hair Salon just off Route 61, has only known business with a construction project going on outside. Now it’ll be business without a road block.

“I think it is going to help a lot. Especially with timeliness, because we are dealing a lot with appointment times and getting people in here on time.”

The big machinery is out of sight along most of the route but people driving through may still notice a few crews doing finishing touches like paving a few sidewalks.

PennDOT says everything should be done by October 1.