What is happening at Kresgeville bridge?
To the Editor:
Polk Township recently announced that the road construction near the intersection of Routes 534 and 209 in Kresgeville — which began last summer — will continue into the new year. Several structures have been razed in conjunction with the replacement of a bridge over Middle Creek just south of the intersection.
Supposedly this project is part of PennDOT’s Rapid Bridge Replacement Program. However, the size and duration of the project at Kresgeville suggests there is more going on here than the repair of a 50-foot span over a tributary to Pohopoco Creek. According to the project report, the weight limit of the bridge will be increased from 25 to 40 tons, and the intersection widened, presumably to accommodate more heavy truck traffic.
Historically, the small hamlet of Kresgeville was one of a few settlements along the Route 209 corridor between Lehighton and Brodheadsville. It was the site of the Wannamaker Grist mill built in 1855, and the home of some prominent families, including the founder of Kmart.
Until recently, this historic crossroads has managed to retain its traditional rural character despite the frenzy of development at the West End of the Poconos. The altering of this picturesque intersection is another blow to an area that is rapidly losing all regional character as the building sprawl continues to advance northward from Lehighton, through Brodheadsville, and all the way to Stroudsburg.