Delaware Water Gap, Monroe County – PennDOT is turning part of Interstate 80 in Monroe County into a six lane highway. Officials say it will make the highway safer. The interstate through the Poconos was originally built for 14,000 vehicles a day. Now more than 70,000 vehicles a day use it.
PennDOT is expanding the section between the Delaware Water Gap and the Ninth Street exit in Stroudsburg. Jessie Griffin of Delaware Water Gap said, "I think it will help out with a lot of the traffic issues and maybe less crashes and stuff, so be safer."
The project is expected to cost about $150 million and take between 6 and 8 years to complete. James Ulichny of Bangor reacted,"It is an absolute terrible idea." He added, "Eight years of construction, eight years of a headache and inconvenience for two more lanes."
Others like the change. Brendan O’Connor of East Stroudsburg said, "I think we need six lanes, sitting in traffic there, six lanes would definitely help."
Some worry expanding the first part of I80 in Pennsylvnia but leaving the Bartonsville area at four lanes will create a bottleneck. Once PennDOT finishes the initial expansion, it may continue west.
The planning work has already started. Construction work is expected to begin next year.