Community Frustration Grows as Mahoning Bridge Repair Delayed to 2032


The bridge that crosses Stewart Creek on Hemlock Drive in Mahoning Township is closed indefinitely.

A recent examination revealed that the nearly century-old bridge has erosion issues and is unsafe to drive on.

“When I heard it was being closed, I was like, this is such an inconvenience for everyone on this street, and all of the neighbors are upset about it,” said Mahoning Township resident Noreen Coffin. “Our bridges in PA need a lot of work, so this one is the least of their concerns,” said Mahoning Township resident Ellen Ballard.

Residents on Hemlock Drive near Lehighton told Newswatch 16 that they are dissatisfied with the project’s timeline.

PennDOT officials believe building on the bridge will begin in 2032, assuming funding is available. A whole eight years from today.

“Will I see it finished? We’re all getting older, and many of us are seniors. “Will we ever see it fixed?” said Coffin.

People who use this bridge told Newswatch 16 that there are lots of traffic closure signs, but not enough detour signs. Which is causing some uncertainty.

“I got lost, so I had to retrace through Lehighton to get to the pharmacy. “There are no detour signs; it says detour, but there are no indicators, so we have a lot of turnarounds,” Ballard explained.

People who know how to navigate the bridge report that it adds about 15 to 20 minutes to their commute.

PennDOT says the diversion will be via Route 902, Route 209, and Packerton Dam Road.

“My husband comes home this way; he has to travel out of his way to get to 902, and when he leaves work, he has to get back on 902 out of our way rather than walking directly down the street. And with petrol prices, you’re putting more miles on your automobile,” Coffin explained.

According to PennDOT officials, this project is part of a larger set of projects funded under the Transportation Improvement Program.

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