PennDOT Delays Closing The Lonesome Road Bridge

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MOOSIC -- A bridge closure in Lackawanna County set for today has been put off for now.

PennDOT says there are concerns emergency vehicles may not be able to get to a nearby neighborhood in Moosic because once the bridge is closed, the only access road is over a railroad track that carries up to 14 trains per day.

The sign is up at the Lonesome Road bridge, alerting drivers that work is set to begin and the bridge will be closed in Moosic.

But now PennDOT has blocked out the start date of June 10,and has delayed the closure of the bridge for at least two weeks.

People living in this area are relieved for the temporary reprieve.

“We really thought, how, I didn`t even know how I was going to get to work because I go that way every day and I thought how am I going to get out of here,” said Deborah Callahan, who lives on Spring Street.

PennDOT says the issue is that the nearby county-owned Main Street Bridge is already closed.

Once the Lonesome Road Bridge is closed, Spring Street would be the only access road to this neighborhood.

A rail line crosses over Spring Street and PennDOT says a passing train could block emergency vehicles from getting to this area.

PennDOT is looking to see if emergency vehicles could use a part of the closed Main Street Bridge while the Lonesome Road Bridge is being worked on.

“We`re looking at right now whether or not we can allow emergency vehicles to go over that bridge just on a case by case, when necessary, and it may be one of those situations where they would never have to use that,” said James May, a spokesperson with PennDOT.

People on Spring Street are happy PennDOT is looking for other options.

“The elderly in the neighborhood, minutes count when it`s something like a heart attack or a stroke and you got a train going across there, and if there was a fire here,” said Lori Santarsiero.

Others say the closing of the Lonesome Road bridge will still be a big inconvenience.

“If there`s a train, there`s no way out of here, I`d have to go to Avoca. I have to go to Avoca and then the highway`s under construction,” said Callahan. “I`d never get to work in the morning.”

PennDOT says once work begins on the Lonesome Road bridge, it should be completed by the end of this year.

The county hopes to have the Main Street bridge reopened by the end of next year.