ARCHBALD, Pa. — PennDOT planned to close a busy road in Lackawanna County, but now it's had to put the brakes on the paving project.
Drivers who use Salem Road in Archbald may have noticed signs that were recently put up. PennDOT put them in place to notify drivers that the road would be closed for about three weeks next month.
"What we're going to be doing is a pavement reconstruction on State Route 1012, which is Salem Road, here in Lackawanna County," said PennDOT official Jessica Ruddy.
This is another part of the $30 million Route 6 Casey Highway project, which has been underway since the spring.
The paving project was expected to start next week, but now it's on hold because of a sewer line project the borough is preparing for. It means Salem Road will still be open when the Steamtown Marathon passes through Archbald next weekend.
"The race runs right here in front of our municipal building, as well as through the main streets and towns, and a lot of people that want to see someone in the race use the Casey Highway to gain access, so they don't have to be stuck in traffic," explained Archbald Police Chief Tim Trently.
It's not clear when the sewer line project on Salem Road will start or how long it will take, but once it's completed, PennDOT expects its paving project to start soon after. And once the paving starts, Salem Road will close, and drivers will have to take a detour.
"What they'll have to do, if they're coming from Jefferson Township, is hop onto the Casey Highway to Exit 5, get back onto the Casey Highway heading westbound and get off the exit on the other side of the project and vice versa," Ruddy said.
The detour might be an inconvenience for drivers in the area, but first responders are worried about how long it will take them to get around.
"That's our access to Archbald Mountain," Chief Trently said. "Any of the homes or businesses up there, cases of emergency services, or even access to the Casey Highway if there's a crash there. Our emergency services vehicles come from town, and we'll have to access underneath the bridge, and maybe they have to resort to a neighboring town, calling for help or whatever it may be."
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