Road Project Detour Impacts Businesses in the Poconos

PARADISE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- April is a busy time of year for Ross & Ross Nursery in Paradise Township, but a nearby road project is not only detouring traffic but also deterring customers.

"We are doing the best we can. We are trying to stay very positive. People are discouraged with how difficult the detour is, but there are other ways. We are saying get on Route 80, 611. You can make it," said Linda Besecker, Ross & Ross Nursery.

In January, PennDOT started work to repair and replace the "Stites Bridge Tunnel" on Route 191 near Mount Pocono. The road is a major thoroughfare, connecting Stroud Township with Paradise and Barrett townships.

But the detour is less than convenient for drivers.

"It's a mess. It's a mess, the distance you have to travel. For instance, where I was down there to come around it was over 14 miles coming the way I went now. Maybe there is another way. I think there is a road where you can make a right onto 611, and I think I am going to go home that way rather than the other way," said Joe Bussiere, Bushkill.

Loyal customers have been dealing with the detour and finding businesses along this stretch, but for those who aren't familiar with the construction, they are having a difficult time. Business owners hope they read the signs and make it out.

Crescent Lodge and Country Inn is another business dealing with the detour.

"The community has been supporting us. For Sunday Easter reservations we have almost 180, so the people are still coming, and if they are going to come to the Crescent Lodge, they are going to find a way to get here," said Barbara Richmond, Crescent Lodge and Country Inn.

According to PennDOT, work on the "Stites Bridge Tunnel" project is expected to be finished in December.

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