DELAWARE WATER GAP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Local officials in the Poconos are calling on PennDOT for answers after a part of Route 611, connecting Delaware Water Gap and Portland, was closed for the second time this year causing a ten-mile detour.

Back in April, a stretch of Route 611 was shut down for nearly two months due to a slope failure of the retaining wall along the road.

Now seven months later, the familiar sight of “road closed” and “detour” signs scatter the borough after a rockslide took place on December 6.

Claiming the closure is impacting surrounding communities, local officials held a press conference Monday.

Community leaders like Tara Mezzanotte say they are wanting more transparency about the status of repairs.. And an immediate short-term and long-term solution.

“When you drive into town the problem is people think 611 is closed, because it is closed. But that doesn’t mean the businesses are closed.”

Eyewitness News reached out to PennDOT who says crews removed the debris from the road, but there is loose rock on the upslope that needs to be repaired.

They say it will likely be two months or more until it reopens.

“To say it’s going to be closed for two months is unacceptable, so we need a quick, temporary fix even if it’s one lane, and we just need to let people know that these small towns are open for business,” said state representative-elect Tarah Probst.

First responders say the closure is a hazard, as it’s the only road connecting the boroughs aside from Interstate 80.

“I’m a member of the Delaware Water Gap Fire Department and I’m a member of the Bushkill Ambulance Company. It’s very difficult to navigate when you have road closures that you know affect services. People could die, and property could be lost,” says Jamie Levy.

Just days away from Christmas, officials like borough council president Stephanie Steele say small shops are struggling due to the lack of customers.

“I was just in our own local businesses this past Saturday, they’re really struggling this Christmas season. Because the road closure signs are before our business districts in both municipalities so all the traffic is turning and not coming into our municipalities.”

PennDOT officials say engineers are currently working to develop plans to stabilize the slope.