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Bridge Replacement Project In Luzerne County Raising Safety Concerns
By Andy Mehalshick
Rose Grady lives near Mountain Road and says she is more than a little bit concerned with a bridge replacement project near her home. She told Eyewitness News, "MY mom is 70 years old and if there is an emergency the fire and ambulances will have a tough time getting up here." Grady expressed the same fears that others have to this reporter in recent days. Penndot is doing a $400,000 reconstruction of the Mountain Road Bridge that connects Larksville and the Back Mountain of Luzerne County. The plan was first put forth in 2011 and area communities were well aware of the impact so says Penndot spokesperson James May. May told Eyewitness News, "We have had a public meeting and also put out information years ago to make sure everyone was aware of this project. We felt it was cost prohibitive to place a temporary road or bridge in that area during the reconstruction of Mountain Road. The road only sees about 3,000 vehicles per day so the detour of 2 to 5 miles is appropriate during the project." Larksville Fire Chief Andy Kachmar said, "We are concerned a bit about the delay. We could see a 15 minute delay in some cases depending on the location of the emergency in the area but we have worked out plans with fire departments in the Back Mountain to respond quicker to calls than they usually do." We can work around this bridge project."