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Increased patrolling at Beltzville State Park

Park officials have come up with a new plan to alleviate some of the problems the park's been having this summer.

CARBON COUNTY, Pa. — It's a sight we have been showing you a lot this summer: Packed parking lots at Beltzville State Park near Lehighton and this weekend nothing has changed. 

"Recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like there is nothing else for a lot of people to do so they resort to the free state park and you know facilities such as Beltzville," said Trooper Justin Magluilo

But, for the past couple of weekends, there have been many more officials on hand to deal with the overcrowding, illegal parking and traffic problems.

The DCNR has coordinated a plan with Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT, Franklin Township police, and local fire police.

Park officials say once the park is full, traffic traveling eastbound on Pohopoco Road will be detoured to Grange and directed back to the turnpike. Local traffic will still be allowed to get through. 

"The increase in patrolling is so we can get the crowds under control, because like I said, we've been getting loved to death," said park manager Alma Holmes.

While those patrolling the park are here for overcrowding and traffic problems, park officials tell Newswatch 16 another concern they have is public safety.

"We have closed that overflow parking so well have fewer folks here so it will be less dense and hopefully we'll start to get, see that social distancing in our visitation," said John Norbeck, deputy secretary for the DCNR.

Park officials hope that this new plan will aid in the overall traffic issues and safety in the area.