SCRANTON, Pa. -- As the 8 o'clock hour approached on Wednesday, crews moved orange traffic cones to the entrance of the Central Scranton Expressway, officially shutting down one of the main arteries into Scranton's downtown.
Bob Siock works in the downtown and says he had no problems getting off on the detours once the expressway closed.
“It was a smooth segue,” said Siock. “We didn't have any kind of lines that stretched for miles, across the expressway or backed up into neighboring towns, and I haven't heard any negative feedback from my friends or colleagues, so I would say it went pretty smoothly, all things considered.”
The expressway is scheduled to be closed until 6 a.m. Monday morning so PennDOT can start phase one of removing the old Harrison Avenue Bridge which stands over the expressway.
Detour signs are set up around the closures, giving multiple options to get to Interstate 81 or elsewhere in the city.
Still, folks aren't looking forward to dealing with navigating around it.
“I work on Adams Avenue at nighttime, so it's going to be a little bit of a trouble,” said Robert Dane from Mount Pocono.
“Yeah, I mean to go to shows and go to work, I always take it, like daily,” said Justin Clemo from Carbondale. “Yeah, it's going to suck. It's like a far drive. I don't even know any other way to get to Wilkes-Barre other than the expressway.”
Others say they knew this was a big PennDOT project that's been a long time coming.
“It has gone on for a little while, but I'm glad to see it's coming to an end,” said Patrick Nasser, who works at Backyard Ale House on Courthouse Square.
“Fortunately, we had plenty of warning. There was plenty of media coverage, local media and local news channels and also where we worked, there was plenty of internal memos and warnings,” said Siock.
Phase two is expected to take place at the end of the month.
Phase three, a controlled detonation, is set for May.