Traffic Concerns on Flood-Damaged Road

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OLD FORGE, Pa. -- Police were out in force Wednesday patrolling a road in Lackawanna County affected by flooding last month. PennDOT says it may have to shut the road down.

Lonesome Road in Old Forge has been anything but lonesome over the past 24 hours. The road, which had been closed since last month's flood, reopened as a one-lane, one-way street.

But Mike Schuback says cars are still going in both directions. He's seen so many close calls in 24 hours that he parked cars in front of his auto shop.

"We don't usually put them alongside the road, we try to keep them off the road. We're just trying to keep things, people from swerving off the road into the property," Schuback said.

Lonesome Road connects Moosic and Old Forge. So many drivers were ignoring the signs on the Moosic side that Old Forge police staked out on their side waiting for them.

Officers pulled over a dozen drivers in a little more than an hour. They were just giving out warnings for now.

"They're just going right through as if they're just going for a Sunday drive. You know, some people, their reactions aren't as fast as they should be, maybe. I can just see something happening," Schuback said.

One lane is off limits because PennDOT still doesn't know the extent of the flooding damage underneath the road. That also means PennDOT also doesn't know how long it will take to reopen.

"Some of the businesses talked to us last week and asked if there would be any way we can open one lane to allow the vehicles to get from the Old Forge side over to the businesses on that side," said PennDOT spokesperson James May.

May says they're rethinking the traffic pattern now and may close Lonesome Road completely until the flood repairs are finished.

"We wanted to do what we could do to help out these businesses, and what we're finding now is that despite the fact that we have some very, very big, obvious 'do not enter/one-way' signs, motorists continue to drive this direction," May added.

Old Forge police say they won't be giving warnings much longer. Drivers caught going the wrong way on Lonesome Road could face a double fine because it's in a work zone.

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