HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s been talked about for decades but finally, it’s becoming a reality. A 17-million dollar highway extension project is underway in the Hazleton area.

“Very stressful always congested always sirens aggressive driving people make their own rules,” said Carol Ann Zatorsky.

Carol Ann Zatorsky and her daughter Nadia know all too well the challenges of trying to get to their jobs inside the Humboldt Industrial Park near Hazleton.

Route 924 is the only access to and from the park which employs more than 10,000 people.

But that will change with the new Route 424 Hazleton Chamber of Commerce extension now being built near Interstate 81.

“It will give us a second way to get out of here because right now only one way out of here and one way back home. We need some type of break up the bottleneck,” stated Zatorsky.

The project has been talked about for decades but not until recently did everything come together to make it a reality.

This work is well underway near the Interstate 81 interchange. The new road will extend into the Humboldt Industrial Park.

Providing access and exit for people who work in the park as well as trucks that make deliveries and pick-ups to the more than 60 businesses located here.

“It creates another exit and entrance into the park in the southern part of the beltway. You’re going to have another entrance and exit better for the public safety better for ambulance fire and police service also better for motorists,” explained Senator John Yudichak.

Can do an economic development group based in Hazleton that has been working on this beltway extension for some 35 years.

They say it will also allow companies to expand their operations and /or help attract new companies to the Humboldt Industrial Park.

“Talk is talk but when you see the ground being laid for something it’s a great thing for this area and helps out not just the greater Hazleton are but for people commuting gives them extra entrance, extra exit,” said Nico Makuta.

If all goes as planned the beltway extension should be completed sometime in 2024. More than 7,000 vehicles each day use route 924 which leads to Humboldt Industrial Park.