Entrance to Cemetery Closed by Bridge Work

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SCRANTON -- The only way in and out of a cemetery in Scranton is now closed to visitors.

The problem is with bridge abutments leading to St. Mary's Cemetery off Stafford Avenue.

Officials say they are working on an access route for funerals and visitors, but until a solution is found, St. Mary's Cemetery could remain closed until early next summer.

PennDOT says this bridge built in 1926 is in need of emergency replacement due to its crumbling foundation.

PennDOT's initial plan was to build a temporary bridge to allow access to the cemetery, but when crews got under the current bridge, they realized it was too risky to install that temporary bridge.

"The problem was as they're building the temporary bridge, you have to dig down and to do a lot of work right next to the old bridge and as they began digging, they realized that the foundation of this current bridge just wouldn't be able to withhold all of the construction and the work that's taking place to put in the new temporary bridge," explained PennDOT official James May.

PennDOT is working with the city as well as St. John Neumann Parish which owns the cemetery to come up with an alternate route.

Eleanor Koester hopes they do as her husband's family is buried there.

"My father-in-law's actually buried up there and so is my husband's granddad," said Koester. "His dad's not gone all that long and he goes up there quite a bit and takes my grandson up there with him."

The bridge replacement is expected to be complete by early summer next year.

The pastor of St. John Neumann says he has been given assurances the church will be given access to the cemetery as needed for funerals.


  • RoadsideBeautification

    the entrance to the cemetery is also an access road to a billboard next to Interstate 81 …. they’ll find a way fast as nobody wants to see the same billboard for the next 6 months.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Watched this story this evening, and the people are so upset that they won’t be able to get into the cemetery for a while…..News flash people they are DEAD their no going anywhere, they will still be there once it reopens…..Geeezzzzz lol….

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