Concerns building over a interchange planned for the first phase of the Interstate 80 Reconstruction Project in Monroe County.
A new interstate interchange is planned to replace the current 9th Street off and on ramps in Stroud Township.
It’s going to connect to Route 611 at the current Shoppes At Stroud intersection in Stroud Township.
Stroud Township Manager Daryl Eppley says, "There’s been no plans offered by Federal Highway or PennDOT to alleviate the planned congestion that’s going to happen on Route 611."
Eppley shows us the plans for the new Interstate 80 interchange at the current Shoppes At Stroud intersection on Route 611. It will replace the current North 9th Street half-interchange Exit 303 which will be eliminated. We’re told it’s going to be a big impact to nearby residents and businesses.
Eppley says, "We lack Information to even offer to our public on what’s happening with this project that many people are concerned about."
The plans also directly impact the township’s yard waste facility on Gaunt Road which is heavily used.
Eppley says, "We don’t know if their intention is to use some of the property or all of the property. We don’t know if anything left is going to be accessible."
PennDOT Officials tell us the township needs to contact its right-away department but admit it’s not fully determined. The new interchange and elimination of the 9th Street ramps is part of phase one of the Reconstruction Project that was estimated to start this year at a cost of about 700 million dollars. The work that includes widening 80 to six lanes for the three point five mile stretch in the Stroudsburg area is now expected to go out contract bids in 2025 and is in final design. We’re told two lanes will be open in both directions throughout the project that’s expected to take five to six years… PennDOT says they had multiple meetings with local officials during planning and are aware of these concerns.
PennDOT District 5 Press Officer Ron Young says, "This isn’t a project to eliminate all of the concerns on 611. However, with the new reconstructed Interstate 80, there will be more lanes on Interstate 80 so if there is an incident on 80, the hope is that the majority of them won’t be taking up all of the lanes on either Eastbound or Westbound. So there would still be a lane or maybe a lane and a shoulder for traffic."
The Executive Director of the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation believes it’s critical the project goes forward and doesn’t want to risk loosing the commitment of the money allotted for it. But as part of the project advisory committee is open to tweaks.
Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Chuck Leonard says, "The information I’ve seen flies in the face of that contention. I’ve not seen any evidence that convinces me that the congestion will take place."
If you have questions about the Reconstruction Project, PennDOT says all of the information is at I80project.com and you can direct concerns to the project manager.