Demolition Begins on Scranton Bridge

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SCRANTON -- For people who live in north Scranton, seeing crews working to demolish the Rockwell Avenue Bridge is great news to start the week.

"It lasted a long time. It was made nice, but you know, everything has its day and this one had it," said Fran Renda of Scranton.

"Erosion on both sides, you can see it coming on the wing walls and the trees that grow. Everything around it allows water and infiltration to get in there and do the damage from the inside," said Joe Palickar, the project's superintendent.

The century-old bridge closed in 2012 after flooding, but it was first found structurally deficient in 1996.

For nearby businesses including Kelleher Tire Service, they believe this closed bridge has kept customers away.

"It has definitely hurt our business. Our used car business has suffered people going by because they go the other direction to make the round-about," said Leo Kelleher.

Drivers are going to have to wait a few more months to actually be able to drive over the bridge, but there is a temporary pedestrian walkway.

Renda is retired and is happy to know he can once again walk to the other side of the neighborhood.

"I go walking every morning, so this will be nice to go across there. It makes a nice observation area now, too, for watching the demolition of the old bridge," Renda said.

Businesses in the area are just ready for business to get back to normal once a new bridge is built.

"It's definitely going to be a big upspring to our business and everybody in the area and people going back and forth to the neighborhood," Kelleher said.

The new $1.3 million Rockwell Avenue Bridge is expected to be completed by October.

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