PennDOT Prepares For Blasting Work On Route 309 Rock Removal Project
ROUTE 309 TRAFFIC PATTERN CHANGE-PennDOT is scheduled to begin moving traffic into a single lane on what is now the southbound lanes of Route 309. James May, PennDOT District Press Offi cer, is shown at the northbound lane at the bottom of the mountain.

PennDOT will be preparing for blasting work on the Route 309 rock removal project beginning this week.

Beginning on Tuesday, April 22, PennDOT was scheduled to start the process of moving traffic from Route 309 North to Route 309 South, between Wilkes-Barre and Mountain Top. In order to perform blasting in the rock cut area of Route 309 North, all traffic will be moved into single lane patterns on what are now the southbound lanes. From Tuesday, April 22 to Friday, April 25, crews will be painting lines, paving and setting barrier. As they do, there may be delays and single lane patterns in the area.

By the end of next week (April 25), traffic is scheduled to be moved over and will remain in single-lane patterns until late fall.

According to James May, PennDOT District Press Officer, a traffic study on the north and sourth bound lanes stated that 10,000 cars per day travel up and down the mountain.

To ensure public safety, PennDOT is also imposing a ban on trucks over 10.5 tons that will be in effect at all times in the southbound lane and from 4 a. m. to 11 p. m. going north.

This work is a $5.2 million safety enhancement project that will blast and remove portions of the rock in the area. By widening the rock cut, less water will flow onto the road, and more sunlight will be able to reach the road surface, thereby reducing the amount of ice on the road.

Throughout the duration of the project, the speed limit will be reduced to 35 m. p. h. Two portable cameras will be installed to allow motorists to view traffic conditions before heading out which will soon be available at www.511pa.com.