Image result for interstate 80 in pennsylvaniaPlans were announced some time ago to widen Route 80 through Stroudsburg and north to the Route 380 split. If you live in the Poconos, visit here during holidays, or suffer in traffic when the inevitable truck accident occurs, you understand the need for an upgrade.

Traffic Woes

When Route 80 is backed up or at a frequent standstill, the overflow ends up on Route 611 and locals scramble for alternate routes home. Main Street becomes a parking lot and everyone is generally unhappy.

Route 80’s History

Route 80 through Monroe County is about 60 years old. It was initially called the “Keystone Shortway.” This is an odd name for a portion of highway that crosses not just the entire state of Pennsylvania but the entire country. Just looking at the old construction photos from the 1950’s suggests that construction must have been very disruptive.

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Local Opposition

The “locals” of the time did not merely accept the State’s plans for the new highway. The “Citizens ByPass Committee of Monroe County” negotiated for changes to the proposed state plans. They were successful in modifying the initial plans.

The portion of Route 80 running through Stroudsburg was dedicated on October 26, 1961.

You might expect that a highway passing through the Borough of Stroudsburg might be more an irritant than a benefit. Historic photos suggest you may be wrong. Main Street in Stroudsburg in the 1950’s was wall-to-wall traffic.

Route 80 alleviated some of that pain and likely improved the tourist trade but its current inability to handle modern traffic means that much of the overflow is back onto Main Street, Route 611, and every side road that people can find to avoid traffic.

The Fix

PennDOT announced a project to widen route 80 to alleviate the gridlock. Although many alternate plans were created, no specific plan has yet to be adopted. You can view the alternative plans at this link.

Discussions with Locals

The Pocono Record recently reported that officials from Governor Wolf’s office met with Stroudsburg Borough officials on June 23, 2017 to discuss the impact of the project. While the newspaper reports that state officials were sympathetic to local concerns, it may be some time before a final plan is decided upon. That means that it is still not known what specific plan the state will adopt.

How This Affects You

PennDot has the power to seize properties it needs to expand Route 80.  This seizure might be your entire property or just a portion. While the State has the power to seize your property, it also has the duty to pay you a fair price for properties it takes. This means not just your land, but potentially rental properties, billboards, and other rights of way. Although PennDot might make you an offer, do not assume it represents the value of what it is taking from you.

How We Can Help

Newman Williams was formed in 1923 and our founding attorneys represented property owners whose properties were seized when Route 80 was first created.

We have a team of experienced lawyers that can answer your questions. We also have local knowledge that can be very beneficial to your case. If PennDOT offers a fair price, we will tell you so.

We Have the Highest Rating

We have an AV Preeminent rating which we are proud of.  This means that our fellow lawyers and judges before whom we practice, have given us the highest ratings for both our knowledge of the law and our ethics.

No Charge for Questions

While the Route 80 expansion project is in its infancy, if you have questions, we would be honored to answer them and to ultimately represent you in any “takings” cases filed by PennDOT.

We don’t charge to answer your initial questions but only if your property is taken by PennDOT.

We understand that other law firms may ask for your business, some of whom do not even practice here.

We understand that and encourage you to look for lawyers who can represent you well. We like satisfied clients. If we’re not the perfect fit, we understand that.

Do your homework. Ask other lawyers about us. We’ve been practicing in Monroe County for nearly a century and, if you choose to hire us, we would be honored to represent you.

More News to Follow

Stay tuned to this blog. We will post more news on this project as we learn about it ourselves.

Meanwhile, please “friend” us on Facebook, follow our Twitter feed (@NewmanWilliams), and follow our website.

~Jerry Geiger

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CategoryJerry Geiger, Takings
  1. June 24, 2017

    My family and I have lived in Monroe County for five generations. My family owned a business on Main Street, Stroudsburg from the 1920s until 1967. It would be a disastrous shame to widen I80 where it is now. I implore the powers that be to re-route a By-Pass south of Bangor Mountain. Many towns and cities have a By-Pass to preserve the community. Example: Leesburg, VA.

  2. June 25, 2017

    They also extended Route 78 around the south of Bethlehem and Allentown to take traffic off of Route 22. I haven’t seen any discussions, though, where that was seriously considered by PennDOT. Probably due to to cost.

  3. June 27, 2017

    I don’t see how making it wider for the few miles in discussion is gonna help you are putting two lanes of vehicles (water gap bridge ) and every one spreads out 70 miles an hour and in a few miles brake everybody back into two travel lanes !! Shit !! Your only making a larger parking lot and more accidents from ppl tryn to squeeze at last min !!if it’s not widened into Nj to connect with their 4lanes of travel it’s a big failure !! The bottle neck effect!! 5 gallons of water in a bucket empties as the buckets tips over 5 gallons of water in a container with a neck on it empties in spurts when knocked over glug glug glug !! Common sense to me says why waste the tax payers money for no remedy? Yes somthing needs to happen but I think the rail system is a better investment long term and a faster resulting fix!!

    • June 27, 2017

      Pat: Thanks for your comment. I would love to see light rail but I’ve been hearing that the trains are coming to the Poconos since I began my legal career in 1985. Also, note that I was reporting on what PennDOT has in mind and how it will affect local property owners. I didn’t mean to suggest this was the best solution but I do believe that the existing infrastructure can no longer handle the volume. Something needs to be done and I suspect the solution will be the cheapest rather than the best alternative. Light rail would be a great solution if our political representatives had the will to improve our infrastructure. Light rail into NYC and the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia is certainly an option worth considering. ~Jerry Geiger

  4. March 13, 2018

    Is there any time frame when the now under discussion 80 widening project would reach Bartonsville my home is on the toe of the slope and I’m concerned about when eminent domain could begin
    Thank you
    Concerned citizen

    • March 13, 2018

      I wish I could tell you. The exact plan that the Commonwealth will adopt is still uncertain and has been the subject of debate. There is a significant amount of opposition that may change the plan entirely. If we hear anything more, we will add additional postings. Thank you for reading our blog.

      • March 13, 2018

        Thank you Gerry.

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