New Bridges Slated for Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Parker Street bridge in north Scranton is set to be replaced. This bridge is more than 50 years old and it currently has a lane restriction and a weight limit.

"It was recommended to go to one lane to keep the loads on the beams that are in better condition. So that was put down to one lane with temporary traffic signals probably at least 10 or 12 years ago," explained John Pocius, the city's engineer.

"I remember when it was two ways, but now it does get annoying when people don't leave you room to come over the bridge," said Scranton resident Caitlin Kurey.

Advanced Textile Composites and its parking lot is located directly at the foot of one side of the bridge.

"We were overjoyed because people are running the stop light so it does pose some danger to us leaving the parking lot," said Joseph Annacarto, Advanced Textile Composites.

If you're familiar with the area, you know about the lane restriction, and the weight limit, but for delivery truck drivers using GPS, they get to the bridge to find out they can't get through.

"The drivers get stuck on the other side of the bridge, have trouble backing up, so we have to go and try to get them out of a jam," Annacarto said.

Three other bridges in Scranton are also on the list to be replaced:

  • the West Lackawanna Avenue bridge,
  • the East Elm Street bridge,
  • the North Main Avenue bridge.

State and federal money will cover most of the cost of replacing the four bridges. Scranton expects its share to be about $1 million.

"They all have little complications in their design, but we're very thrilled to have these moving, and with the success of these, we're hoping to petition to get more bridges done. We have some bridges with these conditions right now," said Pocius.

PennDOT is in charge of the bridge replacement project starting with the design of the new bridges.

The city's engineer says all four bridges could be completed in about five years.