ALERT: PennDOT Warns to Expect Lengthy Delays on ‘President Biden Expressway’
Scranton, PA – Truckers and motorists in Lackawanna County experienced hours-long backups on Interstate 81 this week as workers with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) installed signage on the now “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Expressway.”
On Wednesday, PennDOT swapped signage on I-81 north in Scranton from “Central Scranton Expressway” with new “President Biden Expressway.”
From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the northbound lanes experienced restrictions between mile markers 183 to 184 as PennDOT worked to change out the overhead signs.
Local outlet FOX56 reported the sign installation “had traffic backed up for hours,” as only one lane was open.
Drivers in the area can expect a similar situation on Thursday between the same hours as signage is changed in the southbound lanes from mile marker 184 to 185, PennDOT stated.
In addition, the restrictions will be in place at the exit 185 off-ramp on Monday, October 4, as signage at the exit is changed.
The exit formerly known as the “Central Scranton Expressway” exit will now be called the “President Biden Expressway” exit.
The Central Scranton Expressway is now officially the President Biden Expressway, thanks to a 5-0 vote of the Scranton City Council & some sign work by @PennDOTNews.
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) September 29, 2021
In July, the Scranton City Council (SCC) voted unanimously to re-name the expressway — along with Spruce Street in downtown Scranton — after President Biden, who was born in Scranton in 1942.
The city fell into a deep economic depression in the 1950’s and the Biden family relocated to Delaware.
“We have many streets in the city named after presidents, and we only have 46 presidents, and one of them grew up right down the road here on North Washington Avenue,” SCC President Bill Gaughan, who spearheaded the effort, said. “To me, it’s important to honor the president in that way by having a street within the heart of our downtown named after him.”
In addition, Spruce Street downtown will be changed to “Biden Street.”
It’s a change some business owners in the area are not too happy about.
“I have two businesses to change [addresses for], and I’m going to go kicking and screaming as long as I can to keep it Spruce Street,” business owner Stephanie Grudis told local outlet WNEP.
Grudis said there are more important issues to address in the area than the names of the roadways, such as the condition of the streets and parking.