INTERSTATE 81 - Folks who drive Interstate 81 in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties should plan for extra travel time for most of the month of May.
On Monday, the highway will be down to a single lane, alternating in both directions as PennDOT does extensive maintenance work during a 3-week period.
The work will take place in between Exit 186, the Drinker Street exit to Exit 178 A, the Avoca exit.
“It seems as though 81 is always under construction, when is 81 not under construction?” said Nancy Dokpo from Kingston.
PennDOT says southbound 81 will be down to a single lane from May 1st to the 6th.
Then from May 8th through the 20th, northbound 81 will be down to one lane.
Crews will be doing several projects, including pothole repairs, crack sealing and bridge deck repairs.
PennDOT is urging drivers to avoid the interstate if possible.
“It`s going to be very difficult, there`s no doubt about it, there`s no way around,” said Joe Moskovitz from Scranton. “So, all the side streets are going be impacted. So while the construction`s going on it`s going to be a problem and everybody better get used to it.”
PennDOT says work will take place Monday through Friday, from 7:30 am to 3 pm. The Saturday days were scheduled as rain dates or makeup dates for any issues that may arise during the week.
“It`s going to be difficult, because I work in Dickson City,” said Theresa Gilhooley from Scranton. “So I have to come home which I could probably come home through town but that gets really congested, Linden Street, I`m trying to figure out my plan.”
PennDOT says it`s consolidating all these projects into a condensed 3-week period in an effort to avoid having to perform these tasks during the heavily traveled summer holiday season.
“PennDOT has to do what they have to do,” said Moskovitz. “Sounds little inconvenient but again, I think it`s great that PennDOT`s investing the type of money they are in improving the roadways in the area, they certainly need it.”
PennDOT is strongly urging drivers to use the turnpike between Clarks Summit and Pittston as a way to avoid Interstate 81.