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Route 191 Tunnel Construction (2018)

Update 6/21/18:

Rebuild of Bridge Tunnel Delayed in Pocono Township

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A major road project in the Poconos that was expected to start this summer, won't begin until the fall.

PennDOT officials say they are still in the planning phase of rebuilding the Stone Bridge Tunnel on Route 191 in Pocono Township.

This stretch of Route 191 in Pocono Township is always busy. The roadway is a major thoroughfare connecting Stroud Township with Paradise and Barrett Townships.

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Bridge work will close 191 for 14 months
Marathoners and motorists beware.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will close the stone bridge tunnel on routes 191/447 in Pocono Township for a rebuild and repair, creating traffic havoc for over a year.

The roadway is a major thoroughfare connecting Stroud Township with Paradise and Barrett townships.

The project, still in the design phase, will begin sometime in June or July of 2018 and take about 14 months to complete, according to George Gumas of HNTB Corporation, the designer and manager of the project.

PennDOT will close the roadway at that time, and vehicles will be forced to take a seven-mile detour around the construction. It is similar to the detour that was used when another bridge north of the current one was rebuilt a few years ago.

The project entails work on the structurally deficient steel girder in the structure over Paradise Creek in Stroud & Pocono townships, according to Ron Young of PennDOT.

The roadway through the 300-foot tunnel travels across a bridge under the surface within the tunnel, and diverts water from the Paradise Creek during heavy rain conditions. The replacement will stretch about 100 feet beyond the tunnel on either side and the project will include roadwork on the approaches, he said.

The bridge under the roadway will be replaced with a box-like structure, giving support for the roadway and water flow for the creek diverter. PennDOT will also re-line the walls of the decaying tunnel for stability, Gumas said.

“The project will increase the clearing, improve hydraulic flow and provide better grip on the roadway, hopefully reducing the amount of crashes in that section,” he said.

Averages of 5,329 cars travel that roadway a day, according to PennDOT figures.

The Run for the Red Pocono marathon and half marathon courses travel over that roadway. Race Director Bob Werts said he would have to create a course detour to accommodate the 2019 race.

The current construction cost estimate for the project is between $12 million and $14 million, Young said. The bridge has a sufficiency rating of 12. The deck, substructure and superstructure all have condition ratings of four, which PennDOT classifies as poor.


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