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Legal Threat Delays Paving Project

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A multi-million dollar roadwork project in Luzerne County has been stopped in its tracks and drivers are left with an incomplete r...

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A multi-million dollar roadwork project in Luzerne County has been stopped in its tracks and drivers are left with an incomplete roadway. PennDOT says it's all because of a potential legal threat over the contract to do the job.

PennDOT began repaving a four-mile stretch of the San Souci Parkway at the beginning of August. Now a legal threat from a contractor not selected for the work has stopped and delayed the project. Leaving many drivers we spoke with frustrated.

It's anything but a smooth ride along this stretch of the San Souci Parkway in Hanover Township. The road was milled earlier this month as part of a repaving project. But it's been weeks since drivers have seen any sign of the work being completed.

"Terrible, awful, wear and tear on the tires and everything on the car it's just ridiculous," describes Peggy Von Heppinstall of Glen Lyon.

PennDOT says its lawyers advised crews to stop the work after a contractor not selected for the job threatened to file an injunction.

PennDOT says that contractor wasn't selected because it bid double the amount PennDOT expected the job to cost and went with a different group for the 3.8 million dollar project.

"It's all for greed," adds Nancy Scott of Nanticoke. "I can't say much more except it has to be an awful lot of greed going in there to say one thing and not really mean it at an estimate and go so far over. It's not right, it's not right."

While PennDOT sorts out its legal issues drivers tell Newswatch 16 they feel like their safety and their wallets are stuck in the middle.

"Sure there's just so many vehicles that are being ruined it's just awful," says Glenda Doliva of Nanticoke. "You can't afford to replace parts on a car."

"It means a lot more going around in circles to avoid the whole area it really does," adds Scott.

What frustrates drivers more than the delay is that the project itself, according to PennDOT, is only an interim fix and in the coming years a complete rebuild of the road will be necessary, once it gets funding.

"It just doesn't make any sense. Period. Roadwork does not make sense period," pleads Scott.

"I think it's ridiculous I think they should just fix it once and then fix it right. I mean it's going to be an inconvenience but it should be done right," says Doliva.

PennDOT says it will put out the remainder of the work needed to complete the project out to bid again. It hopes the work can start back up in September and it can be completed by the end of the year.