There has been “a bump here or there” in the Route 309 rock removal project underway in Fairview and Hanover townships but, overall, the project is going well, according to officials who attended a meeting last week.
On June 12, local and state officials along with representatives of PennDOT, law enforcement, and the general contractor met in Fairview Township to discuss issues that have come up during the course of the project. In mid-April, traffic was reduced to a single lane in both directions in what was the southbound lane with the crossover beginning just below the mountain. Trucks over 10.5 tons are not permitted to go down the northbound lane from 4 a. m. to 11 p. m. and no trucks are allowed to go up the mountain during the lane restriction.
The location of truck detour signs has created confusion for some independent truckers, according to Fairview Twp. Police Chief Joe Intelicato and Hanover Twp. Chief Albert Walker.
Chief Intelicato noted on the second day of the ban, he spoke to several PennDOT officials regarding the confusion, and told them that “truckers coming out of New Jersey and New York west on 80 can’t do it; they go down 81 to Wilkes-Barre. You can’t stop trucks from coming off 80 into the industrial park.” He noted he has “gotten no where” in having the problem addressed.
James May, PennDOT, agreed the detour sign stating, “309 north of Mountain Top closed to all trucks over 10.5 tons from 4 a. m. to 11 p. m. use detour” is too wordy and difficult for truckers to read as they are driving past.
Intelicato emphasized the truckers are confused and they have a valid point. He indicated the signs be eliminated and suggested to move the sign off 80 and put it after the industrial park.
Dom Yanuzzi, engineering consultant for PennDOT, suggested eliminating the signs or add truck deliveries to Crestwood Industrial Park allowed, but noted it will take awhile to make the signs.
Intelicato reported enforcement of the aggressive driving campaign has been going well. A few officers have been assigned to the area and over 100 tickets have been issued, mostly to trucks, and in the passing/no passing zone. He added he has gotten a lot of calls about trucks coming up the mountain.
Walker also reported people are calling 911 regarding trucks going up Route 309. He stated his department has issued been between 55-60 citations for speed enforcement and 20 for truck ban.
Tom Yoniski, field representative for state Senator Lisa Baker, summed up the discussion, noting the detour signs are most important and directed PennDOT officials to contact Chief
See Rte 309 page 4