PITTSTON TOWNSHIP – State Sen. John Blake and Rep. Mike Carroll today heralded the start of a $42 million highway project near the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport that will improve traffic safety and lead to new economic development opportunities for the region.
Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) and Carroll (D-Luzerne/Monroe) joined PennDOT and other state and local officials in a groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which will feature a new road linking the airport with the Grimes Industrial Park, plus longer and safer on- and off-ramps for Exit 178 of I-81 and three roundabouts designed for smoother vehicle flow.
The new and long-needed connection between Grimes Industrial Park and I-81 will help to relieve local roads of heavy truck traffic.
“Today we mark a new beginning and we commit new federal, state and local investments that will ensure safer commutes for our residents and for visitors to our region while improving prospects for business growth and jobs,” said Blake. “This groundbreaking means the hard work, perseverance and diligence of our local officials has finally paid off.”
“For 20 years, the Lackawanna and Luzerne county commissioners have been working with Dupont Borough, Pittston Township and Avoca Borough officials plus business leaders, airport officials and PennDOT to put a shovel in the ground to begin this project, and we are finally here,” Carroll said. “Today marks another giant step forward for the Greater Pittston area and for the people of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. I’m thankful for the efforts of all who laid the foundation for today’s groundbreaking.”
The project will include the expansion of four bridges along I-81, the replacement of a pedestrian bridge and the repaving of a 1.5 mile section of the highway.
The project will open 95 acres of airport property for economic development. Construction is expected to last two years. Pennsy Supply won the bid for the general construction contract.