PennDOT, Residents Discuss Road Improvement Plan

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DALLAS -- A major multi-million dollar road improvement project will be taking place over the next few years in Luzerne County.

PennDOT plans to re-work several roads in the Dallas area to relieve congestion and increase safety.

PennDOT has plans for two road projects with the first scheduled to start in the fall of 2015 on a road near the Dallas school district campus.

Wednesday night, PennDOT held a public hearing to meet with residents to explain the work that will be done.

Upper Demunds Road in Dallas Township will be the first project PennDOT will tackle in a multi-million dollar road improvement plan that will take place over the next few years.

PennDOT held an open house with residents living on that road at Misericordia University to explain the work and answer questions.

PennDOT plans to spend $3.7 million to relocate where Upper Demunds Road intersects with Route 309.

The goal is to reduce the heavy congestion, which draws traffic from a shopping plaza and the nearby Dallas school district campus and to reduce the number of accidents taking place.

“It is getting more and more congested. Traffic is heavy, it’s fast, take your life in your hands getting on the road,” said Len Ganis.

“I’ve lived here for 47 years, I think the plan is good and I want to learn more about it,” said Frank Paczewske.

But for homeowner Brian Bryk, his concern isn’t about traffic problems. He says the relocation of Upper Demunds Road will cut into his property.

“I’m concerned about my four children,” said Bryk. “The road would probably come a hundred foot into my property and there would be a very large retention water run-off, retention basin.”

Once the majority of work is done on Upper Demunds Road, PennDOT plans to start work on the Dallas roundabout in the borough.

The roughly $3 million project will turn the five-leg intersection along Route 415 into a single lane circle with no traffic lights and is being done to relieve traffic as well.

But some don’t think a roundabout will work.

“People do not give you a break anymore. I (saw) that during the holidays. They’ll drive right up your back if they have to, so they’re not going to be letting cars in and out, definitely not,” said Ganis.

This is the only public meeting PennDOT has planned for the Upper Demunds Road project.

Work is expected to start in the fall of 2015.

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