Work Begins to Replace Rockwell Avenue Bridge in Scranton

By Eric Deabill |

Published 09/02 2014 06:31PM

Updated 09/02 2014 06:52PM

After being closed for more than two years, work to fix a bridge in Scranton is finally getting underway.

PennDOT planned to give elected officials and the media an update on the Rockwell Avenue bridge project Tuesday morning but got a much bigger crowd than expected.

Roughly two dozen homeowners who live near, and rely upon, the bridge came out to learn the latest about the project.

"It's about time," Alan Romanowski said. "I know some of the people here will be really happy."

The bridge has been closed since flooding in April 2012.

Since then, homeowners have had to take a detour of several miles to get to most places because the bridge is usually the most direct route.

"It adds miles and especially when gas prices are high, it adds a little more to the bank," Gerard Pugh of North Scranton said.

The bridge had been in need of work long before it was closed. It slowly became off-limits to everyone.

"First it was tractor trailers, then it went to buses, then the firetrucks couldn't pass it. They claimed we're on hold, we're on hold, money, money, money," Dennis Dolan of North Scranton said.

With utility, gas, water line and cable issues now taken care of, a pre-made bridge will soon be installed in the area.

"It will allow us to do all of the work outside of the area here and then just bring the bridge in and just set it down right in place and then do all the approach work," PennDOT spokesman James May said.

Work that people are very interested in seeing completed.

"It's always encouraging when you see the community involved in a project like this. It also shows the importance of a bridge like this," May said.

The total cost of the project will be $1.3 million.

The work should be completed by next October.

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