PennDOT will remove rocks on Route 209 near Jim Thorpe

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- After nearly a month, PennDot has come up with a plan to remove a rock slide from a busy local highway - and hopefully remove the danger of more falling rock. 

"We're coming down the hill and I said, good grief! Look at that," said a visitor in Jim Thorpe.

It has drivers rubbernecking as they pass by... a big pile of rocks... sitting on the busy roadway to and from Jim Thorpe.

"They were huge! You see the signs all the time, falling rocks, danger -- but I've never seen it before. This is what they warn us about! It's dangerous looking," said another visitor spending the day in Jim Thorpe.

The rocks fell onto route 209 on September 8, damaging one vehicle.  

The rocks stayed where they landed, and until now, PennDot has done little, but put up barriers blocking the fall zone in case more rocks come down. Those barriers close one lane on this roadway in Mahoning Township.

"You always wonder just how secure they are there," said a driver.

Engineers with the department of transportation urge people to stay away from the area. Ronald Young tells me PennDot is aware of a Craigslist post, encouraging people to take the rocks, for decorative purposes. Young tells me it is not safe to take the rocks, or go beyond the barriers until a crew can clean it up.

"There's no way to predict when and where rocks may fall off a mountainside," said Young.

Tuesday, PennDot hired a contractor to break up the large rocks, haul them off the roadway, and scale back loose rocks off the mountainside. Some people tell me they'd like to see more safety measures put in place.

"Put up fencing," suggested one driver.

"Once they do this rock scaling they will review and see where mesh netting needs to be installed while they're out there doing this work," explained Young.

Work will begin in a week, closing this section of route 209 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Detour signs will be posted when that road closes next week, however it will be open on weekends. Work is expected to be completed by October 27.  

 


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