Reconstruction project on Route 611 enters next phase


POCONO TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A reconstruction project in the Poconos is entering a new phase. Paving is set to start on Route 611 in Pocono Township, more than two years after the intensive project started.

There aren’t many customers inside Hickory Valley Farm Restaurant during what is supposed to be the breakfast rush. And the manager believes the construction out front is to blame.

“Honestly, it’s been a nightmare,” Kimberly Weathers, manager of the Hickory Valley Farm Restaurant said.

PennDOT is reconstructing Route 611 between Scotrun and Swiftwater to add new turning and traffic lanes. The restaurant created these makeshift signs to help drivers battling barriers.

“I feel like people get very confused, especially the tourists, about where they’re supposed to drive and there are cones everywhere,” Weathers said.

PennDOT says contractors plan to start paving next week. Crews will begin on the northbound lanes, then after August, work will begin to reconfigure the southbound lanes.

Construction started in March of 2017 and is expected to wrap up next October.

“They tell us ‘we’re going to be done by this date,’ then they push it back, push it back, push it back,” Weathers said. “So, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

When Poconos Brewery Company opened about two years ago, construction was already underway.

“So it’s hard for us to gauge how badly it’s affecting us,” Jean-Luc Vitiello, Owner/Brew Master, Pocono Brewery Company said. “But right now, at the beginning of this season, it’s been pretty rough.”

The owner thinks customers are avoiding his business because of the traffic patterns.

“No one wants to touch 611,” Vitiello said.

PennDOT says this project is designed to improve safety and traffic flow for the more than 25,000 drivers who use that stretch of Route 611 daily.

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