WILKES-BARRE — Both northbound lanes are open today on Interstate 81 as repairs were completed overnight on a large hole that opened in the deck of the much-traveled highway.
According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials, the hole opened on the deck at mile marker 172 on the bridge that goes over Suscon Road in Plains Township. Crews worked through the night and the lane was re-opened at 5:08 a.m., PennDOT said.
Douglas Yacuboski, a PennDOT maintenance manager, said he was unsure what happened to cause the gaping hole to open.
He said that after the contractor hired to fill the hole was unable to complete the repairs “in a timely fashion,” PennDOT’s Bridge Maintenance Crew made the fix to get the road open as soon as possible.
PennDOT officials said single-lane traffic continued until the repairs were finished.
“Crews worked throughout the night,” said PennDOT spokesman Mike Taluto.
Estimated cost of the repairs is $3,000, he said.
No detours were in place. Taluto said motorists were given advance warning for those wishing to avoid the area.
He said that with one lane closed, traffic moved at a steady pace.
The hole that was repaired measured about 4 feet by 5 feet. Crews have been mobilized and repairs began around 10 a.m. Monday.
It was expected repairs would have been completed by 6 p.m. Monday, but the work took longer than first estimated.