BENTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – PennDOT is getting ready to start more roadwork across the region and one of their planned projects is a little unusual.
Starting Monday, contractors plan to close a section of Route 107 in Lackawanna County so that they can actually lower the current roadway.
The work will take place right under the two bridges for Interstate 81 in Benton Township.
PennDOT says there has been a problem with a truck hitting at least one of the bridges so PennDOT plans to raise the clearance level by lowering the actual road.
“What we’re doing is going out there and about 350-feet on each side of that bridge, they’re going to excavate it down and literally take the road down lower,” PennDOT spokesman James May said.
Right now, the bridges have a clearance of 13’6″
When the work is finished, that will increase to 14’6″
“That is unusual but they have to do what they have to do, I guess,” Joan Setzer of Greenfield Township said.
While construction is underway, Route 107 right under the bridges will be off-limits.
“It adds an extra ten minutes on my commute,” Peter Mills of Scott Township said.
Peter Mills works just down the road and has noticed truck traffic issues near the bridges.
“A lot of the bigger loads will pull off to the side and kind of hang out just before the bridge. I don’t know if they get a little intimidated by it,” Mills said.
At the same time the road is being lowered, crews will also repair a northbound bridge beam that was previously damaged by a truck.
In all, this part of Route 107 will be closed for roughly two weeks.
“The nice thing about this project is we’re talking in terms of weeks instead of months and years like some of our other projects,” May said.