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‘Truck after Truck’ Shake Up Luzerne County Communities

NEWPORT TOWNSHIP — Construction on a new natural gas-fueled power plant in Luzerne County is barely a few months old and already the work is upsetting com...

NEWPORT TOWNSHIP -- Construction on a new natural gas-fueled power plant in Luzerne County is barely a few months old and already the work is upsetting communities around the project -- specifically neighbors in the Mocanaqua area who have to deal with nonstop heavy truck traffic that starts at 6 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m.

Truck after truck full of stone travel through an area called the "Lee" section of Glen Lyon in Luzerne County. Only about 20 homes sit back from the main road through there, but the families who live there cannot believe what has suddenly happened to their lives.

"This is unusual. You get trucks coming through here sporadically but not constant like this," said Anthony Soletski.

The trucks pick up loads of stone at a quarry in Newport Township and deliver it to the area where a natural gas-fueled power plant is being built in Salem Township, between Shickshinny and Berwick.

The dump trucks travel eight miles between the quarry and the construction site. They have to drive through Mocanaqua. In 10 minutes time, we counted 19 of them.

"My neighbor also did," said Paul Shiptoski. "He was here on January 15. His estimation is that there were roughly 1,300 triaxles drove through the area in one day."

Families complain that the constant truck traffic fills their neighborhood with diesel smell, along with dust and dirt.

"It's disgusting. It's awful. It's awful. My kids even tell me they can taste it in their mouths," said Michelle Vnuk. "The house actually shakes. I know the one neighbor's foundation already cracked and she had all her foundation recently repaired."

Newswatch 16 has learned that 45 of these dump trucks are being used to build the National Gas power plant construction in Luzerne County. But with the amount of stone that is needed for this project, contractors want upwards of 60 trucks.

It's a concern for families in Glen Lyon who insist the number of trucks now  is way too many.

What also may be discouraging for those folks is that the constant truck traffic may continue through the duration of construction -- about two and a half years.

Neighbors are circulating a petition now and plan to give it to Newport Township supervisors at their next meeting in February.

The company building the plant insists everything is, "being done by the book," and at this point, it would be very difficult to put a stop to the trucks and the traffic when construction at the power plant is well underway.