Businesses and Drivers Ecstatic Route 209 Reopened After Bridge Replacement Project

TAMAQUA, Pa. -- Drivers had to put up with traffic tie-ups for months because of a bridge replacement project in Schuylkill County but now the work is done.

Businesses are ecstatic to have Route 209 in Tamaqua back open.

It was a busy Friday at Dimaggio’s in Tamaqua. Just outside the restaurant, the bridge replacement project detoured traffic away from the business for close to three months. On Friday, Route 209 reopened.

“We are beyond happy that the road is opened. It's been quite a summer,” DiMaggio’s waitress Michelle Zurn said.

Employees at DiMaggio's were worried at first about what construction was going to do to business. However, they said the restaurant didn't take much of a hit because they have such loyal customers.

“We come down here pretty regularly and it was just a little pain to find parking and stuff - but it's a good place to come eat so we put up with the traffic and congestion, so we could come and have a good meal,” Tom Zipovisky of Hazleton said.

PennDOT crews were replacing an old bridge that runs over the Wabash Creek. The project started in April and shut down Route 209 in June.

People said the detours were a hassle.

“It took an extra ten minutes to get to my house through all the detours and everything and a lot of people were going the wrong way, so a lot of people were getting pulled over,” Bethany Moore of Tamaqua said.

Now that traffic is running smoothly again, people are pleased with the results.

“It is definitely good to see it all going through again. I mean, it's almost like magic just happened within the last couple of months and here we are,” Moore said.