Rebuild of Bridge Tunnel Delayed in Pocono Township

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POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A major road project in the Poconos that was expected to start this summer, won't begin until the fall.

PennDOT officials say they are still in the planning phase of rebuilding the Stone Bridge Tunnel on Route 191 in Pocono Township.

This stretch of Route 191 in Pocono Township is always busy. The roadway is a major thoroughfare connecting Stroud Township with Paradise and Barrett Townships.

"I use it about once a week, not too, too often but I do travel it, yes," Chel Dizon said.

PennDOT had plans to close the Stone Bridge Tunnel for a rebuild and repair this summer, but officials say now that won't happen until at least the fall because they are still in the planning stages.

Chel Dizon from Stroud Township says it doesn't matter when it starts, it's still going to impact a lot of people.

"Whether they start it now or after the summer, the following year it's going to hit summer so for me it doesn't matter when they start doing it," Dizon said.

Some business owners we spoke to say they are pleased to hear that the road work on Route 191 won't begin until the fall, especially at one ice cream shop where owners say they have had trouble with road work in the past.

"A few years back they closed down here, the (Route) 447 intersection which put a real damper on our business," Michele Hooey said.

During the closure, vehicles will have to take a seven-mile detour around the construction. The work is expected to take 14 months to complete.

Michele Hooey says she's glad the construction won't impact business this summer and will have more time to plan for next year.

"Business is prime time right now, June, July, the summertime, of course, so we were a little concerned about what it might do to business."

PennDOT officials say this project will cost anywhere between $12 million and $14 million.

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