New high school to increase traffic in Plains Township

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Students in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District are returning to class this week in a brand new, state of the art high school in Plains Township.

The school is combining the students from three former high schools in the city, which means a lot more traffic can be expected around the new school.

There are some big concerns about traffic once school starts back up in Plains Township. Police are asking drivers to be patient and mindful as you drive through town.

School starts this Thursday for Wolfpack students.

Whether you’re taking the bus, getting dropped off, or driving yourself, there will be an increase in traffic around the new Wilkes-Barre Area High School in Plains Township.

“There’s going to be an increase in school bussing drivers and even maybe pedestrians,” The Northeast Highway Safety Program education coordinator Rebecca Ryback said.

Plains Township Police, PennDOT and the Northeast Highway Safety Program are reminding drivers and students to stay patient through this big change especially for those who used to walk to school.

“Wear your seatbelt, it’s the law. Give yourself enough time to travel,” stated Ryback.
“Pay attention to the school buses and just make sure you know that you’re driving safe to get to school safe.”

There are two entrances to the school. One off of Maffett Street and the other on South Main Street.

“Both will be open at the same time, traffic flow will come in, we have established bus lanes over here,” said Carl Gembitski, supervisor of school police officers.

There are also two designated parent drop-off and pick-up locations.

Traffic near Abbott Street is a main concern because the new traffic light is not up and running just yet.

LT. Michael Bohan, of Plains Township Police, says it will be open soon. Plains Township Police will be there to direct traffic until the project is complete.

“In the morning and in the afternoon while the kids come to school and then while they leave the school, so we’ll be there from 7 to 9 and then from 2 to 4 everyday,” said LT. Bohan.

Police will also be directing traffic on South River Street at the Cross Valley.

The 309 exit ramp is still under construction.

The additional turning lane was requested by the Wilkes-Barre Area School District when they applied for a highway occupancy permit.

Construction at the 309 ramp is expected to be complete in two weeks.

Police also advise drivers not heading to the high school to take River Street instead of driving through Plains Township for the next couple of weeks.

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