Digital Exclusive: PennDOT responds to safety petition for “Giant’s Despair,” borough discusses next steps

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LAUREL RUN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Laurel Run Road, also known as “Giant’s Despair” is a notoriously dangerous stretch of pavement in Luzerne County.

The road is restricted to trucks over 10.5 tons, but locals say truck drivers often ignore the signs and follow GPS down the road anyway, resulting in many accidents.

“The truck drivers are being re-routed off of the turnpike, they cannot go down 115 so they’re coming down through Laurel Run Road,” borough member Cynthia Russo said.

Mayor Justin Carroll and the Borough of Laurel Run held a council meeting Tuesday to discuss the next steps at tackling this community problem.

“Some suggestions were made to put signs up stating that there’s a high-crash area, listing fines possibly on the signs, we talked about lowering the weight limit from10.5 tons down to a much lower weight,” Russo said.

On Monday, PennDOT responded to the petition that received over 2,000 signatures to add more safety lights and signage to the road saying: “The municipality is responsible for the purchase, installation and maintenance of flashing beacons. this is as per code Title 67, Chapter 212.5.”

“It would be our responsibility to purchase and install these, maintain them, pay for the electricity, after all these years, to put onto their signage onto their road that they operate and they maintain,” Mayor Carroll said.

PennDOT says the estimated cost of these safety features can range anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000.

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