A planned yearlong closure of the North Cross Valley Expressway’s Exit 3 has been postponed again — this time until next year — amid concerns about how the work will hinder access to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Repairs to the off-ramp bridge, set to start Monday, have been rescheduled to start in the summer of 2019.
Meanwhile, the on-ramp bridge will be closed mid-morning on June 1, and it will remain closed through the summer of 2019, the state Department of Transportation says.
PennDOT announced on May 4 that an $11.3 million project to repair/replace much of the Exit 3 ramp onto River Street from the West Side would begin the following week.
PennDOT acknowledged no public meetings were held regarding the Cross Valley project, leaving municipalities and emergency responders surprised when they learned of it.
Days later, PennDOT announced the closure was pushed back until May 21, as hospital officials and emergency responders said they were worried about how the project would limit hospital access, especially given the ramp closure coinciding with an unrelated sewer project on River Street south of the hospital.
Now, the work has shifted to the on-ramp leading traffic onto the North Cross Valley at the same interchange.
A signed detour will be in place for the duration of the on-ramp construction.
The detour follows the North Cross Valley Expressway south (SR 309 south) to Wilkes-Barre Boulevard at Exit 2, where temporary signals have been installed. A left turn on the green signal may be made onto Wilkes-Barre Boulevard northbound to follow the detour.