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PennDOT: Rockwell Avenue Bridge to Open by July

SCRANTON -- PennDOT says there's a light at the end of the tunnel for Scranton residents affected by a bridge closure. Officials say the Rockwell Avenue Bridge is scheduled to reopen just after the fifth anniversary of its closing.

Residents in north Scranton have been waiting a long time for a bridge over Leggett's Creek to be replaced.

PennDOT says the wait on Rockwell Avenue in Scranton is almost over. The span should be done by July 1.

Folks who live around there aren't holding their breath.

"Well, they've said it a lot of times and I hope that this time it's going to be finished by July because it's a long ways going to work every day," said Robert Thomas.

Thomas works at Kelleher Tire. His home of 70 years is on the other side of the creek. For almost five years, the bridge closure has made his drive to work a lot more complicated.

"Up through the project, Mary Street, up to Market Street, down Market Street to here. It takes a mile now, instead of two blocks," he complained.

There's been a pedestrian bridge in place for the past few years. Businesses near the bridge say that helps a little bit.

"They have a walkway, a bridge for people to walk where you can cross it, but anyone with a car, you know, a lot more convenient to come here than to drive to Gerrity's and places like that, so it's hurt our grocery business in that way," said Noone's Market owner Kevin Noone.

Noone's Market is on the corner of Rockwell Avenue. Noone and his customers had hoped the new bridge would be done this past summer, then by the end of 2016.

July 2017 is now the new expected completion date. Crews are preparing for a pre-made bridge to be put into place.