Work on Retaining Wall Begins in Carbon County

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A heavily traveled stretch of Route 209 near Jim Thorpe will be down to one lane in each direction for most of the summer.

PennDOT crews are starting to fix the retaining wall along Mansion House Hill in Mahoning Township.

Lanes of traffic going in and out of Jim Thorpe on that stretch of Route 209 are going to look a little different this summer.

PennDOT officials had to reduce the northbound lane from two lanes to one as work on the Mansion House Hill retaining wall begins.

"As long as it gets done. I mean, it's going to be a little bit of a hassle on a lot of the tourists, but hey, they will still come," said Brandon Higgs of Jim Thorpe.

PennDOT officials say the single lanes in each direction are expected to be in place until at least mid-August.

The new traffic pattern is to help ensure contractors have enough space to safely work and fix the wall that is crumbling in certain spots.

"It's about time. That's for sure. It's been falling apart for a few years now, and thank God no one has been killed so far," said Leroy Strohl of Jim Thorpe.

People in Jim Thorpe say while they do understand the work needs to be done and that safety comes first, they are a little bit concerned about what it might do for businesses downtown.

"Are we pleased about it? no. I mean, the weather itself has just about messed up businesses in town, and I am sure it's not just here. It's everywhere, but like I say, there is nothing you can do about it. You have to work around it," said Anne Marie Fitzpatrick of Nature's Trail.

Once repairs to the retaining wall are complete, PennDOT officials say a longer-term project to help with the rock slides in the same area will begin. The date for that work has not yet been set.