Small Bridge Project to Have Wide Impact

CANAAN TOWNSHIP -- Construction season is just kicking off across the Commonwealth and one project in Wayne County may be relatively small but will likely have a wide impact.

It's pretty noisy in this part of the countryside south of Waymart on Route 296 all because a bridge is being replaced.

"It needs to be done.. definitely, you don't want a car truck or bus to go through the bridge, needs to be fixed, that's for sure," said John Kehl who drives for Sharkey's Fuels.

While crews demo the old bridge and put the new one in, drivers will have to take a 7-mile detour on the back roads. That means everyone from people heading to and from schools in the Western Wayne district to businesses including Sharkey's.

"Believe so using alternate routes which beat up on trucks and everything so it can be a pretty nasty situation," added Kehl.

Loveshaw, a company that makes packaging equipment, has a half-dozen trucks come and go every day from the north where the bridge is located.

"When we were notified they were closing the bridge we had to notify the truckers to come from the south reroute and it's going to be inconvenient but we'll be OK," said Loveshaw General Manager Doug Henry.

The Western Wayne School District should be impacted for these two weeks or so the bridge is out on Route 296. That means students will have to be picked up 10 minutes earlier and dropped off 10 minutes later because of a detour while that bridge work is ongoing.

"There's a detour. They'll just have to get used to it. The locals know the dirt roads," said neighbor Allan Jones.

Contractors tell Newswatch 16 they couldn't wait until the school year ended to start the project because utilities had already been moved for the bridge replacement project. The work is expected to take at least two weeks.