The I-80 Expansion Project will crush Delaware Water Gap, Marshalls Creek, East Stroudsburg, Stroud Township and Stroudsburg Borough, but yet, it seems like Stroudsburg Borough is being blamed for the opposition.
This is simply not true. We are speaking for the people who know this project is not the right design. We are speaking up to the idea that this will cause more harm than good. We are standing up for the citizens that have a stake in this and even those that will be effected who don't even realize it because this will impact all roads. This project will affect all of our roadways and cause gridlock like we have never seen.
We are looking at the future and not putting $600 million on one project, when so many other roads need redesign and repair that would help the desired outcome.
These are the Stroudsburg I-80 Project Impact AAA Task Force policy points and project preferences. This makes sense. This is how the money should be spent. This is what our area needs. This is what PennDOT does not want you to hear. This is what a large group of citizens are fighting for. This is what our State Representatives should care about. This is not just my opinion, but the majority of our citizens’ opinion— and we matter.
No — There should not be more travel lanes through Stroudsburg. More lanes = more speed. More lanes induce more traffic and reduce incentives to find alternative routes. If lane capacity is increased, it should be between Bartonsville and Scotrun where it turns into three lanes. Not through Stroudsburg. The bottlenecks start at Bartonsville and anyone that drives this Interstate daily knows this.
Yes — We want bridges reconstructed to provide required clearances and to meet current design, structural and safety standards.
Yes — Breakdown lanes should be a full 12-foot wide and 8-foot wide medians for safety and emergencies.
No — The existing entrance and exit at Dreher Avenue should not be closed and abandoned. This route alternative already exists and can relieve traffic congestion on I-80 and alternatives in the event of emergencies. First responders do not want to lose this exit.
Yes — Establishing four travel lanes through Route 611 in Stroudsburg to Bartonsville as a part of this project will relieve congestion on I-80 and provide essential alternate routes for local traffic.
Yes — Reducing the amount of property needed for the project requires every effort to avoid destroying people’s homes, businesses and quality of life, while preserving our property tax base.
This Reconstruction Project proposed by PennDOT has also gone against their very own mobility standards. It calls for the elimination of a full interchange at Main Street in Stroudsburg and replacing it with a partial interchange. Only west bound traffic will be able to exit and enter at that location. The elimination of the Dreher Ave. exit seems to also go against mobility, thus making safety a questionable concern.
PennDOT has admitted in the 2019 Environmental Assessment “ would experience LOS F due to the bottleneck condition created at the project limits (three lanes to existing two lanes).” This will be an additional bottleneck on I-80 west to the already daily bottleneck at Bartonsville and the bottleneck on I-80 east at the NJ/PA border.
According to PennDOT's own words, “traditional capacity adding roadway improvements – adding travel lanes or increasing lane widths… would be aimed at addressing bottlenecks…” So why are they creating bottlenecks?
They are going against their own standards.
Trying to make sense of all the changes, double standards, and holding PennDOT and elected officials to a higher standard will not end until we are convinced this is the best use of FHWA funding for our roads and communities. If you hear that the money has got to be spent on I-80 because it is federal funds, that is not the whole truth. The money can be spent on adjoining roads that are affected by the construction, hence the terrible Main Street interchange they have proposed. If you hear that New Jersey is making the roads across the Delaware River wider with more lanes, well, that is not true either.
It is a National Recreational Area and there have been zero talks about that.
Besides the obvious better ideas, such as a bypass from Columbia, NJ. to Wind Gap and our task force solutions, please tell your state representatives and PennDOT how you feel. It matters! Reach out to us at www.I-80projectimpasctaaa.com anytime.
— Probst is the current mayor of Stroudsburg Borough and ran for Pennsylvania’s 40th Senatorial District seat in 2018.