Buckling Road In Mountain Top Closed

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WRIGHT TOWNSHIP -- PennDOT blames the cold weather for a road in Luzerne County buckling so bad that a section of the road is closed indefinitely.

Drivers traveling on Route 437 are seeing message boards and signs warning that a section of the road is closed. The reason: PennDOT says Mother Nature has created a dangerous condition by buckling the road.   Route 437 is a major link between Mountain Top and White Haven.

“It's pretty nasty. I mean, even with your seat belt on, you jump out of your seat. It’s a nice bump. It started in the middle of the road and then made its way across the road,” said Carol O’Brien of Dennison Township.

It's difficult to see the bump because of the snow. PennDOT has an official name for it. It's called a hydraulic push.

“The groundwater under the road is freezing and when water freezes, it expands and what it's doing and when it expands, it pushes the road up and what we have here is a two- foot high bump in the road,” explained PennDOT spokesman James May.

PennDOT says the bump can cause a driver to lose control.

John O’Brien agrees.

“I was airborne, he thought he was in the Dukes of Hazard needed my Dixie horn,” O’Brien said. “It was pretty unexpected.”

A four-mile detour has been set up.  Carol O’Brien worries about her daughter using the detour.

“Tunnel road is not the best road either and being a new driver, it’s scary. It's going to affect her a lot.”

PennDOT officials say crews won't be able to make repairs on Route 437 until the weather warms.


  • Maria W

    When is the weather going to warm up? not for MONTHS! and this Tunnel Road is for the birds. it is worse on our cars then the bump in the road on 437. why can’t they just make it a one lane for now, to avoid going tunnel road!.. I have a 1.5 hour drive to work everyday one way, and adding the nightmare of Tunnel road to my commute is horrible. the conditions of that road are horrible, narrow, full of pot holes. I have been run off the road several times by cars or school buses that hog the road. This is ridiculous that we have to wait till the weather warms up. DO SOMETHING NOW so we can have a safer drive to work then traveling Tunnel Road and Barry Road. this morning alone I passed a car on Barry that is crashed into a snow mound. I want to be safe on my commute to and from work and I have no faith in PennDot or whoever is responsible for this road to get fixed. There are signs on 437 saying road construction need a bridge that have been there for the 2 years I have been traveling to work. Whats up with that??? FIX THE DANG ROAD ALREADY!!! or let us travel down at our own risk!!!!

  • GD

    I bet if James May (Penn Dot) or any other county or state official had to take a detour from their home, the road would be fixed in a hurry.

  • GD

    I live on Honey Hole Rd (the other end of where it is closed). To get to Mountaintop now, I either have to take Barry’s Rd to Tunnel Rd or go Honey Hole to Lake Francis Rd. Both roads will rattle the fillings out of your teeth. PENN DOT said they’re not going to do anything about it until the weather warms up. I’m glad PA raised the tax on gas for the purpose of fixing roads. Now I have to drive further on horrible roads and I’ll need a front end alignment on my vehicle. Talk about stimulating the economy for dentists and mechanics. Not to mention, driving further costs more time and more money for gas. More gas equals more money for the state to fix roads that they’ll never fix. Where does all the money go? What ever happened to a system of checks and balances?

    • Maria W

      I just posted my comment above, and I agree with you 100% we need to get a petition or something so they do something about this road. if it was the turnpike or Route 80 this issue would have been corrected already. I travel over an hour and a half one way to work everyday and adding that new extra miles and horrible road conditions of Tunnel Road and Barry road I am in fear of my car needing an alignment or worse. is there someplace we can go to in order to complain so this road gets fixed sooner then later (or worse, NEVER)

  • Joe

    This problem has been occurring there for the last 25 years, probably longer. PENNDOT has never fixed the problem of the spring under the road. I am not an engineer, but when will those overpaid engineers realize that drainage has to be placed under the road. The problem is not going to go away by just paving over it. More wasteful spending band-aiding the problem father than fixing it.

  • mdog

    Roads in PA. need to be constructed with 1 foot drainage gravel like in Florida
    Grampa always said this he was Army Corp Engineer.

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