Bridge Set to be Replaced

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SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A detour is now in place for drivers in one part of Monroe County. Earlier this week, PennDOT closed the Cherry Valley Road bridge near Delaware Water Gap due to severe deterioration.

"Road Closed" signs at each end of the Cherry Valley Road bridge near Delaware Water Gap went up this week.

The bridge over Caldena Creek is set to be replaced starting next month.

"Oh, yes, very rough shape," said Jennifer Shoemaker. "It's crumbling. My husband is in construction and he says even looking at it, it's crumbling and unsafe."

PennDOT officials say the stone bridge in Smithfield Township will be replaced with concrete.

A detour takes drivers onto Routes 191 and 611.

Residents on either side of the bridge say the closure tacks on about five minutes to their commute.

"It has its pros and cons. I am guessing it's good. Everyone I talked to so far is happy about it. For some people, it's a little difficult. As for us, we are firefighters here so it's a little harder for us," Jessica Miller said.

People who live in this area say they don't mind this bridge being closed. For starters, they say it needs repairs but it also reduces traffic through this neighborhood.

"Hopefully, the idea that it's closed will get people to slow down and maybe after it's fixed, that will continue. That's what we are hoping for," said Shoemaker.

Dane Brosseau says before the closure, the bridge was down to one lane and covered in construction cones.

"Once they fix it, it will be nice to have a new bridge. They will get rid of all the construction signs on the road. It's going to be a lot better," Brosseau said.

Work on the Cherry Valley Road bridge is expected to last through June or July.