Route 248 in Carbon County is getting a major overhaul, starting next week.
The first phase of the project is set to begin Monday. Work will start at the Route 209 intersection and move in two-mile increments towards the Lehigh Gap.
At the beginning. drivers can expect single-lane restrictions from Route 209 to near Club Road in Lower Towamensing Township.
Crews will be fixing median barriers, strengthening rock fences, milling, paving, and more. Drivers agree it's all a long time coming.
At the Parryville exit of Route 248 sits the Riverwalck Saloon. Manager Christine Schwarz sees the traffic whiz by every day. She also drives her motorcycle on the highway and knows the road's poor condition firsthand.
"248 is a death trap, a death trap, especially by the Bowmanstown exit," said Schwarz.
She and many other residents are happy to hear nearly $14 million worh of roadwork will soon get underway.
"Absolutely much needed. Long overdue," said Ruth Ann Anthony of Palmerton.
"You can just feel every bump that's there so we're really looking forward to them redoing it, finally," said Linda Borger of Palmerton.
But some aren't looking forward to the delays construction will bring.
"They really should have done it when no one was driving. That one lane is gonna make it impossible and delay my work travel to and from," said Jill Chamberlain of Palmerton.
Lawmakers who have been pushing for the project say with 50 percent of Carbon County residents commuting to jobs outside the county, the overhaul will be a boost for the entire area.
"A lot of communities are bedroom communities and Route 248 is a main corridor so this is going to be a welcome project. It's really going to help the economic development in our area to get this road in better shape," said State Representative Doyle Heffley.
While Schwarz agrees, she also feels if the state really wants to make Route 248 safer, work shouldn't stop when the road is replaced.
"They need lights along 248. It's just a horrendous road and people don't know how to slow down," said Schwarz.
Again, work is set to get underway this Monday. The first phase of construction will wrap up in the fall. The entire project is expected to be finished in June 2022.