North River Street Back Open After Sewer Work

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- For the first time in months, traffic is finally flowing on North River Street in Wilkes-Barre.

"Nice and smooth! I like it, nice and smooth,” said Anthony Cunningham of Hanover Township.

The road has been closed since August for a sewer project.

What was supposed to take six to eight weeks dragged on longer because of issues with old gas and water lines.

Emergency plans were in place because North River was closed right at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

School and county bus routes were also affected.

Sheila Davis lives right near the work zone.

"It was very hectic, very hectic, yeah, we had to go roundabouts and find places to park, I have two grandkids, so we had to park up on the corner, it was tough,” she said.

Some nearby business owners are happy about the completed work. They said the closure really hurt their bottom lines.

"A normal project that takes between four to six weeks, ends up being three months and you know, you just have to survive and weather the storm. Thank God we have three shops,” said Kevin Coombs of Smith's Tire New and Used on North River Street.

While people are happy the road here is reopened, some say detour traffic and construction trucks tore up side streets, leaving potholes that need to be patched.

"Courtright Avenue is just being butchered up from tractor-trailers, the trucks from the construction workers, just butchered up with the ambulance back and forth, you know?" said Cunningham.

Meanwhile, North River Street is smoother than ever.

"It looks fantastic, they couldn't have done a better job. It looks really good. Too bad all the roads couldn't be like this,” said Robert Davis of Wilkes-Barre.

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