PennDOT plans $100 million replacement of “twin bridges” in Lackawanna County


ROARING BROOK TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – $100 million dollars. That is how much PennDOT believes it could cost to replace two bridges along Interstate 84 in Lackawanna County.

The twin bridges in Roaring Brook Township are a main artery for truck traffic but now some taxpayers are questioning the cost to fix them.

The twin bridges are used by more than 40,000 drivers everyday.

The bridges were only built in the mid-1970s but with the amount of heavy truck traffic on them, PennDOT says it needs to start planning now for their replacement.

Because the twin bridges are a critical route for truck traffic between the Scranton-area and all of New England, plans are being made to replace both spans.

“They’re really important. It’s a major point of commerce to get in and out of the area,” Adam Black of Carbondale said.

While the replacement likely won’t start until at least 2021, the $100 million price-tag is raising eyebrows among some drivers.

“That sort of shocked me. I think they should get a second opinion on that cost on those bridges. It’s the taxpayers who are going to end up paying for it,” Cory Meade of Jefferson Township said.

Cory Meade lives in Jefferson Township and drives on the twin bridges all the time.

He was in high school back in 1975 when the current bridges opened which is why he’s also curious that they need to replaced so soon.

“1975? To me, that’s not that long ago. They’re replacing bridges that were built in 1935 and the 1940s,” Meade said.

The twin bridges themselves are massive. They sit roughly 120 feet above Roaring Brook.

While the current bridges remain safe, PennDOT says all the truck traffic on them has really sped up the wear-and-tear process.

“There’s tens of thousands of trucks crossing them everyday, everyday,” Shalan Havenstrite of Hamlin said. “That is a lot but I mean when you built them did you figure that many trucks were going to be crossing everyday?”

PennDOT is planning to hold a public meeting on the twin bridges on Wednesday.

It will take place from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Dunmore Elementary School Gym.

Engineers will be on hand to answer questions and take input regarding the project.

In addition to the replacement of the twin bridges, the project also calls for a new right-side exit ramp from Interstate 84 to Route 435. Right now, traffic currently exits on the left of the interstate.

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