Driving in the Hill ‘like a maze’

SCRANTON -- Some people who live in Scranton say getting out of their neighborhood has been something like a game over the past few weeks.

People in Scranton's Hill Section have gotten used to cut-up streets and crews from the gas and water companies working to replace old mains under the streets.

They aren't used to construction this close to December but the utility companies say there's a reason for that.

"A nightmare, I'm going to spend my life driving through the Hill Section looking for a way out."

We found a lot of backing up and turning around in Scranton's Hill Section. Neighbors say for the past few weeks, driving to and from home has felt like a video game.

"It's like playing Pacman," said Ro Hume. "You go up, and then there's a block, and you turn around, there's a little person going behind you."

Hume thought it best to have a sense of humor about it but, most neighbors we talked to are pretty frustrated that orange road closed signs cover their neighborhood.

"It's really like a maze, you go up one street and you think, 'oh, I'll turn left on to Prescott,' No, that street's blocked off, too. I don't even know if they have it mapped out so that they realize that it's not confusing, or, I don't know, it's crazy really," said Norine Maier.

It's a combination of work by both UGI and Pennsylvania American Water. Both utility companies have been replacing old mains since the summer.

Officials from UGI say they're just about finished. Neighbors say it can't come soon enough.

"Cut us a break, I mean, you got to be able to get home and get to work and move. I don't mind if they work on it but do they have to do all of them at the same time?" asked Harry Gregory.

UGI says they're working at the same time as the water company so that they can split the cost of patching the road. There are so many "road closed" signs because crews are working on borrowed time, taking advantage of the warm weather and trying to get everything finished before the Christmas holiday.

Neighbors weren't counting on a construction-filled December.

"Normally not, and I keep hoping, it's about the only reason one would wish for snow!" Hume joked.

Neighbors aren't arguing that the work is unnecessary. Neighbors we talked to said some of the water and gas mains have never been replaced.

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