PennDOT to Open First Roundabout in the Area

Posted on Monday June 22, 2015

June 19, 2015

Dunmore, PA – The region’s first roundabout will soon open as part of the $42 million Airport Interchange project, PennDOT Assistant District Executive for Construction, Harold Hill said today. PennDOT hosted a preview of the roundabout at the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Airport.

PennDOT data for its first 16 roundabouts shows that fatalities and major injuries were reduced by 100 percent – fatalities went from two to zero and major injuries went from six to zero.  Moderate and minor injuries were reduced by nearly 50 percent – moderate injuries were reduced from 30 to seven and minor injuries were reduced from 30 down to 19. There are many factors in each unique crash, but roundabouts are proving to reduce crash severity in Pennsylvania and significantly reduce injury rates.

The interchange project has three goals:

  • With an extension of the on and off ramps from Interstate 81 to Exit 178 (Wilkes Barre/Scranton Airport – Avoca), cars will not be forced to accelerate or decelerate as quickly when entering or exiting the interstate. Safety will be improved for motorists.
  • A new access road between Navy Way and Commerce Road will help spur economic development.  To attract businesses to the area, there must be adequate infrastructure to transport goods and services.  The new access road from Navy Way to Commerce Road will provide that infrastructure.
  • The project will improve traffic congestion by moving large trucks off Route 315 and onto the new access road.  Currently, large trucks access areas such as the Grimes Industrial Park by exiting Interstate 81 in Dupont or Pittston and taking Route 315 through the urbanized and residential communities of Dupont, Pittston and Avoca.  By moving these large trucks from these residential areas and onto a road that is designed for industrial truck traffic, this will improve traffic congestion and safety for these communities.

The roundabout is the first of three to open as part of this project, with the other two scheduled to open in the fall of 2015. The entire project is expected to be complete by July 2016.

To learn more about roundabouts click here.