Pocono Township, Monroe County – The bridge over Pocono Creek in Pocono Township, next to the Giant Flooring shopping plaza is down to one lane.
Traffic going north towards Mount Pocono must detour off of Route 611. Traffic going south towards Stroudsburg moves slowly through the construction zone.
PennDOT says that bridge is falling apart and needs to be replaced. Business owners say they understand but they hope the project moves quickly or they will suffer.
During the usually busy lunch hour at Dale’s Café Thursday, the dining room was quiet. Owner Lee Crowell remarked, "Usually we have a full dining room at lunch time so it has an effect on us already." He is worried his business will suffer significantly. "All the traffic that gets off at the route 80 exit in Bartonsville has to bypass us if they're going north on 611,” he complained.
The detour takes people around the strip mall but some drivers say they don’t think it’s a big deal. Al Mohamed of Jackson Township said, "For the people that do need the stores that are here. They will find a way to come."
While Crowell knows his regulars will still come in for breakfast and lunch, he’s more concerned about losing summer tourists who only discover the café when they drive by the place.
Vicki Bardsley of Stroudsburg said the construction is difficult to navigate. "We actually drove past it with the detour but then I realized it was in this little strip mall that we had missed but with the detour it got a little confusing,” she said.
Mohamed came from the other direction. He said he had an easier time because he paid close attention to the people directing traffic. "As long as you're courteous and you have to respect them as well, they'll find a way to help you through,” he said.
Lee hopes he finds a way to help his business survive through the project. "Please get it done as quick as you can. Anything you guys can do to hurry it up would be great,” he pleaded.
The bridge is scheduled to be finished in September.