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PennDOT Meets with Residents Over Controversial Road Project in Poconos

TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP — A controversial road project in the Poconos drew a crowd to the Tunkhannock Township Volunteer Fire Company Thursday night to meet ...
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TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP -- A controversial road project in the Poconos drew a crowd to the Tunkhannock Township Volunteer Fire Company Thursday night to meet with PennDOT officials.

The plan is to widen and improve a stretch of Route 115 between Route 903 and Hullman Drive in Tunkhannock Township, Monroe County.

It's a roadway that gets congested when race fans head to and from Pocono Raceway.

"This project is to widen the roadway a little bit and add an extra center turn lane in so that during non-race events can be used for people making the turns can get out of the thruway so traffic can turn,” Jay McGee, a PennDOT assistant district design executive.

Folks got a first look at the project, which would cost more than $6 million and include road widening plus a t-intersection and traffic light where Routes 903 and 115 meet. While some support the plan, others do not.

"I think it's ridiculous. The raceway doesn't need this. From what I observe on race days, their only problem is they don't get people off of the roads into the parking areas,” said Helen Witt of Tunkhannock Township.

PennDOT officials say at this point, there are no plans to take down houses or businesses in the area to make way for the project.

Nathan White owns Woody's Country House, a restaurant and bar along Route 115, and was somewhat relieved to learn his business is okay. He remains skeptical of the project.

"I don't think it's necessary. Over the years, you see the decline in people coming up to see the races. It's not like it used to be. Honestly they should use the money to fix 115 instead of widening 115,” said White.

White's employees feel the same.

"It's not like it takes that long to get into the raceway and it's only an event that happens two times a year,” said Kathleen Haney of Tunkhannock Township.

PennDOT officials say it could take up to two years before construction on the project begins and another year or so before the project is complete.