SCRANTON -- The Central Scranton Expressway is scheduled to close this weekend so crews can make a big step forward in a long-awaited bridge project.
The plan is to shut down the expressway starting the evening of Friday, October 14 so that crews can place beams on the new Harrison Avenue Bridge.
The steel beams made their way from Interstate 81 down Moosic Street and onto Harrison Avenue Tuesday morning. They will span the new Harrison Avenue Bridge--a big step forward in the project set to be done in 2017.
"You have to have the foundation in place before you do a lot of this stuff," explained PennDOT official James May. "This is where you can really start seeing a lot of the activity taking place."
The activity this week requires crews to shut down the Central Scranton Expressway starting Friday evening. The beams will be put together high in the air above the highway that leads into downtown.
"That's why we can't have people going on the expressway over this weekend because what we're doing is actually setting these beams in place, splicing them together over top of the Central Scranton Expressway," said May.
The expressway one of the main ways into Scranton and this weekend is already set to be one of the busiest of the season for downtown businesses.
"First, you always fear the worst, but as we thought about this and broke it down, it's not going to be too bad for us here, just a lot of proactive things we'll have to do," said Michael Kearney.
Kearney manages the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel. They were working on sending emails to all of their expected weekend guests.
Area restaurants weren't as concerned.
"We have a lot of students that come from the (University of Scranton), so it's always in walking distance, even Lackawanna College too. I don't think it will affect us. I think it will be great," said Kelsey Drozen, Kildare's Irish Pub.
The Central Scranton Expressway is scheduled to close around 8 p.m. Friday and reopen early Monday morning.
This weekend's closure is just for the first set of bridge beams. PennDOT says another set of beams is expected next month.