Bridge Tunnel Work to Begin in the Poconos

POCONO TOWNSHIP --  There's a stretch of Route 191 in Pocono Township that is always busy.

However, just a few days into the new year, it will be blocked off to traffic through 2019.

PennDOT is closing the Stites Bridge Tunnel for rebuild and repairs.

Cathy Snyder lives right next to the closure.

"They should have done the tunnel when they did the bridge. They are closing this road for the second time and it's the best road we have. All the other roads, the alternative roads are not too good," said Cathy Snyder, Paradise Township.

The roadway is a major thoroughfare connecting Stroud Township with Paradise and Barrett Townships.

Work was originally supposed to begin in the summer, but back then, PennDOT said plans weren't ready and that work wouldn't start until after the new year.

"It's necessary. It's a risk and it needs to be updated. It's going to be very confusing to the rest of the area but it's necessary," said Eric Karlson, Henryville.

According to PennDOT, work is scheduled to begin on January 2 with detours going into place on January 7.

The detour around construction is about six miles, and signs will be posted instructing both vehicle and truck traffic where to go.

"Oh, it will be inconvenient but until the detours are defined, I don't know what the situation will be like," said Bill Fredrick, Paradise Falls.

PennDOT officials say this project will cost anywhere between $12,000,000 and $14,000,000.

Work isn't expected to be finished until December of 2019.

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