By Katie Collins News Eagle Reporter
HAWLEY - Once the construction started for the Route 6 bridge project in February, so to, did the traffic backups on Main Avenue in Hawley while people have had to wait for the traffic lights that were put in place because of the construction. But now, construction has resumed because Kriger Construction has finally received the much awaited materials they have needed to complete the ongoing project that has irritated many in the area.
For a few weeks, construction had been at halt, which PennDOT’s
District Press Officer, James May explained was the result of the construction company having to wait for materials. He said the company started the construction to identify what exactly was needed in order to fix the bridge.Many of the people of Hawley, most of whom didn’t want to be named, had their own thoughts about the construction’s standstill.
A business owner in town, said the halt of the construction was a little frustrating because it is the area’s busy season. She added that, "every year, it seems there’s a new project going on." But, she has noticed that people are finding alternative routes, to get where they need to go. One man sarcastically said, the halt of construction was, "wonderful." He said if the bridge was fixed it’d be good, but because nothing has happened for a few weeks, he was concerned with what will happen once summer comes. He added that, "this is going to be a never-ending process throughout the summer." No one was aware of Kriger Construction’s need of materials, but rather, a rumor that many had heard the company still needed the necessary permits. He added that, "this is going to drag forever." Some people weren't irritated with the construction, but rather other’s disregard for safety as there have been drivers who would try to beat the light by speeding through the area. Or, one woman, had someone drive around her, while she was just about to turn onto Columbus Avenue. She said, people have to sit a few minutes, which "is not really a big deal." She added that, many people in town are not used to waiting for anything, but now that there is a, "tie-up for a couple of minutes, it’s got everybody crazy." The cook in the Hawley Diner, Justin, called the halt of the construction a, "nuisance." He too, had heard the construction company still needed the appropriate permits. Because there is nothing that can be done about the construction, he said, "just like pavement and roadwork, it’s got to get done."
A woman in the diner said she avoids town by taking Hudson Street and other roads. She added that, "the summer is going to be go- awful."
Another man in town, Phillip, was unsure of why construction wasn’t underway, he acknowledged that construction needs to be done and because there isn’t an alternative route, "we have to live with it," he said.
Kristen Eckhoff, the office manager at About Face Orthodontist said production in the office has been affected because people often run a few minutes late for their appointments. She said, she’s glad the construction has started now because she had heard it wasn’t supposed to be completed until Labor Day. She added, "it is what it is."
A business owner in town, Jackie, called the construction’s halt a, "nuisance." But as people have to drive slowly, they are able to look in her store’s window. Because, "it’s going to be better in the end," Jackie said people will just have to, "suffer through this a little bit."
Maura Rottmund, the Director of the Hawley Library acknowledged that the work needs to be done and construction workers have kept the library staff up to date with what’s going on, even posting a sign in the library’s lawn telling drivers not to block the driveway. As for safety problems, Rottmund said there have always been problems with the crosswalk because no one stops. Jokingly, Rottmund told a member of the construction company, he should stand outside and direct traffic. He decided not to do it though.
May said the completion of the construction is still expected to be done by the Fourth of July weekend.