After Months Of Detours, Section Of River Street In W-B Reopens
WILKES-BARRE — After nearly three months of detours, traffic congestion and poor sales for local businesses, a three-block section of River Street has finally reopened to traffic, a city official confirmed on Thursday.
The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority finished installing about 1,000 linear feet of 30-inch-diameter wastewater interceptor line beneath North River Street around the end of October, and road crews had been reconstructing sidewalks and repaving the street since then.
The authority completed the project and reopened the street to traffic on Thursday, city Director of Operations Butch Frati confirmed.
The busy thoroughfare had been closed between Courtright Avenue and a point just north of Maple Street near Wilkes-Barre General Hospital since mid-August.
Drivers that typically used the River Street exit of the Cross-Valley Expressway had been rerouted to the Center City exit, causing congestion on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard. Customers of businesses in the neighborhood avoided the area, business owners had said, even though one-way side streets in the neighborhood had been temporarily changed to two-way streets to allow for easier access.
Those side streets are once again restricted to one-way traffic.
Dealing with inclement weather, leaking water mains and unexpected abandoned utility lines buried deep beneath the street extended the project considerably beyond its six- to eight-week projected duration, according to authority officials.
— STEVE MOCARSKY