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The Widening of Route 80 in Monroe County: What to Expect

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2017 | Firm News, Jerry Geiger, Takings

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Plans 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.

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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