PennDOT Postpones Bridge Closure Project in Moosic

By Eric Deabill |, Jayne Ann Bugda |

Published 06/10 2014 06:39PM

Updated 06/10 2014 07:00PM

People living in part of Lackawanna County are breathing a sigh of relief after PennDOT postponed a bridge closure plan.

As Eyewitness News first told you two weeks ago, many Moosic homeowners feared for their safety in an emergency situation.

The bridge that was slated to close Tuesday is at the junction of Main Street in Moosic and Lonesome Road in Old Forge.

Because it was going to make some homes on the Moosic side harder to get to, PennDOT decided to take a second look at how emergency responders would get into the area in an emergency.

"People always say that PennDOT doesn't listen and this is an example of where the feedback that we got from the public was to look at this and see if there is any possible way that we can have any other scenario to get access back there and that's what we're lookign at right now," PennDOT spokesman James May said.

The problem is, the bridge that PennDOT wants to close and replace is only about a half-mile away from a county-owned bridge on Main Street in Moosic that has been closed for three years.

There are dozens of homes in between them.

One of the only ways to get to the area involves railroad tracks and trains go through the area roughly 14 times each day.

As a result, PennDOT is doing a study to see if they would be able to open the county-owned bridge in an emergency.

"There's a good chance that we would never even have to use that access point but we just want to know, if per chance we would get to that point to where say someone is having a heart attack back here and there's a train derailed on the railroad tracks, how do we get vehicles up there?" May said.

While happy the bridge will stay open for now, homeowners are still worried.

"A little bit of patchwork I believe," Joe Romanecz of Moosic said. "They should finish the one bridge before they close this darn thing. They're calling us an island now."

Business owners are also worried about their survival.

"We stand to lose two of our major seasons with this bridge being down so like I said, we just hope our loyals and word of mouth helps people coming to us," Jackie Bower of Bloomin' Idiots said.

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