Milling, Paving Work Final Step in PennDOT’s Four-Year Construction Project on I-81

PITTSTON TOWNSHIP -- There's a heads up for drivers headed out on Interstate 81 around the Pittston/Dupont exit to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

PennDOT has both directions of the highway down to one lane for milling and paving work overnight, but the department says this work is actually good news for drivers.

Travel was a slow go in both the north and southbound lanes of Interstate 81 in Luzerne County Monday night.

Both directions were down to a single lane so PennDOT could do paving and milling work on the highway for two miles around the Dupont/Pittston exit (175), which is also the exit for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

“It's not easy and then there's a lot of accidents. People rear-end each other. You have to go slow, which nobody goes slow anymore, especially if you're a Fed Ex driver, other than me, because I go slow,” said Greg Lehnowsky of Mountain Top.

The work in the Pittston Township area is expected to run each night through Friday morning, starting at 8 p.m. and wrapping up around 6 a.m. the next day.

But PennDOT says this is actually a good thing, calling this paving work the beginning of the end for this four-year construction project that runs between mile markers 176 and 174.

All this work should be finally complete by the end of October or early November.

“That's wonderful,” said Jodi Whitney from Scranton. “That's awesome.”

“That's awesome,” said Micaela Ogden from Laflin. “It's been going on forever. I’ve been here for two years and it's not stopped.”

“I think it's great because I travel through here frequently because of activities with our kids, so we're constantly on the interstate,” said Jenna Booth from Scranton. “And it does get frustrating when it's backed up and you're sitting there for a while in traffic, trying to get home after a long day.”

“That's great. I can finally get to work on time and no problems getting home. It's a lot better to get home,” said Jason Hine from Olyphant.

“That's good news. That's great, good to hear that,” said Allen Karpavich from Pittston Township.

“Great, good news,” said Edwin Velez from Scranton. “I travel every day, in the morning, in the afternoon, because I work in Wilkes-Barre and live in Scranton.”

PennDOT says the on and off ramps will also be included in this overnight construction project and that drivers should expect delays there as well.

5 comments

  • PennJoke

    This 81 project is/was laughable. Poorly planned. Poorly executed. All at the commuters’/taxpayers’ expense. All I see are substandard materials, substandard workers, unreasonable timeframes and often unnecessary projects, only to rise and repeat a year or two later. For all the good work (hahaha) PennDot does, PA still has one of the worst highway systems in the country, a third-world style infrastructure and yet some of the highest gas taxes, and a perpetual increase of tolls. For all that money, where is the quality of work? Just how is all that money allocated and spent? Let’s see an accounting/audit.

  • 8 men 1 working

    “Milling”? Shouldn’t it be “milking” since PennDpt has been milking this job for years?
    Lazy and greedy. Good ole’ PA

  • Jay

    After four years of being late every day, poor Jason Hine has to come up with a new excuse for why he can’t get to work on time.

  • driver

    I think the traffic will be the same. What is different about the two lanes going through the construction now, then the two lanes that will be there after the construction is over? Its still only two lanes in the busiest area of 81 in the area.

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