AP NEWS

Heritage Fair Venue Up In The Air, Baseball Series May Cause Traffic

September 4, 2018

Heritage Fair Venue Up In The Air, Baseball Series May Cause Traffic

Lackawanna County Heritage fairgoers may have extra traffic to battle for the inaugural five-day event next year on Montage Mountain. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders play a total of five home games against the Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs at PNC Field from May 29 to June 2, the same dates as the fair. The fair is planned to be at either the Pavilion at Montage Mountain, operated by concert-promoter Live Nation, or Montage Mountain Resorts, owned by developer Charles Jefferson. The state Department of Transportation also has scheduled a nearly $14 million road resurfacing project on I-81 northbound and southbound lanes from the Luzerne County line to near the Central Scranton Expressway and several bridge projects in Moosic and Scranton, said PennDOT spokesman Mike Taluto. The projects likely will start in April and last several months, he said. “It’s obviously going to present some issues in terms of congestion getting to and from the fair,” said Armand Olivetti, chairman of both the Lackawanna County Fair and Recreation Authority and fair board. The baseball team’s schedule was already set for 2019 when the fair dates were announced, he said. Fair organizers plan to coordinate with the baseball franchise for the 2020 fair to try to avoid home games occurring during the event. The baseball games could prevent lots at PNC Field from being used for remote, off-site fair parking, Olivetti said. Fair organizers will work with Scranton and Moosic police and the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Office to create a comprehensive traffic and security plan for the fair, and likely will appoint a coordinator to develop such a plan, Olivetti said. The RailRiders do not have home games scheduled during the Northeastern Pennsylvania Air Show, which returns to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport the weekend before the fair, May 25 and 26. PennDOT officials will work with fair and air show organizers to address construction-related traffic issues, Taluto said. Traffic issues on the mountain often plague motorists, including most recently on Aug. 17, when severe weather, a baseball game that eventually was rescheduled, a concert and other circumstances caused vehicles to back up onto Davis Street and Interstate 81. Some concertgoers waited in traffic for hours, prompting Live Nation to apologize for the inconvenience and frustration some fans experienced. The fair authority and board continue to work on nailing down the spot on the mountain for the fair. “I think the fair is a wonderful thing,” Jefferson said. “If the county wanted to consider us, I would certainly be honored to work with them and participate in that.” Traffic is inevitable and usually means that a lot of people want to attend an event, which is a good thing, he said. “I’m not worried,” Jefferson said. Live Nation is discussing the fair venue with organizers, said Live Nation Vice President of Marketing David Niedbalski, who declined to comment further. Attempts to reach RailRiders officials were unsuccessful. Contact the writer: jhorvath@timesshamrock.com 570-348-9141, @jhorvathTT

AP RADIO
Update hourly