DELEWARE WATER GAP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Part of Route 611 that connects Monroe and Northampton Counties remains closed after nearly two months of being shut down, now PennDOT is drawing up emergency plans.

“It closed in December, everybody forgets that like it’s been closed since the second week of December,” said Lauren Chamberlain.

Chamberlain owns Asparagus Sunshine a shop in Delaware Water Gap just a stone’s throw away from part of Route 611 that’s shut down due to a rock slide. This is the second time severe weather closed down the road that connects Monroe and Northampton Counties.

“Right now with winter, it’s our slower season so now it’s really, it’s even more devastating because it’s our slow season and you don’t have through-traffic, it basically, I mean you won’t see a car pass for hours sometimes now,” explained Chamberlain.

Chamberlain says PennDOT and the borough have put up signs trying to draw customers into the area but the lack of traffic is “devastating” to its local economy.

“The impact of this on our town and Portland is just bigger than most people think. They don’t realize that, through traffic is our bread and butter, those tourists that come through here, they’re the ones that spend their money.”

PennDOT says they are developing repair plans and once approved estimates the work will take six months. This week PennDOT spoke with emergency management officials.

Delaware Water Gap Borough Council President Jamie Levy attended the meeting and says they went over different scenarios in case of an emergency.

“What happens if interstate 80 is closed? Like how do we get our emergency vehicles to an accident on 80 or to roughly anywhere we needed to go with 80 and 611 being closed,” asked Levy.

For safety purposes, PennDOT says they will install physical gates at the closure to allow access for first responders. Levy says this gate will temporarily help their response time but isn’t ideal due to the conditions of the slope.

“If the road’s not safe for pedestrian vehicles, then it’s probably not safe for emergency vehicles so we don’t want to risk any of our firefighters or any of our EMS workers,” explained Levy.

Once repair plans are finalized PennDOT will need to get approval from the National Park Service as it owns the property.

PennDOT says they will be holding a meeting soon to speak about detour plans if an incident happens on Interstate 80.