Section of Route 11 in Edwardsville to be closed Tuesday

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - | April 20th, 2017 6:57 pm

A section of Route 11 in Edwardsville will be temporarily closed Tuesday to allow the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority to complete a test installation of a flood gate, authority Executive Director Christopher Belleman has announced.

The gate is among 20 closure structures that must be set up at Wyoming Valley Levee openings during Susquehanna River flooding, he said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires periodic installation drills on some of the gates, he said.

The Edwardsville structure is located across from the Kmart store.

Traffic will be detoured to Northampton Street and East Main/Church Street.

While this area of Route 11 will be closed for public safety reasons, local traffic will be permitted for businesses adjacent to the work site, Belleman said.

Edwardsville and Kingston officials have been notified, and Belleman said authority representatives plan to visit businesses near the site Friday to inform them of the closure plans.

The state transportation department, Wyoming Valley West School District, police and county Emergency Management Agency also were briefed on the closure plans.

The Edwardsville structure involves several support posts, braces and a series of aluminum logs.

The installation and disassembly work is expected to occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Atlas Flasher and Supply will deliver and install detour signs on Monday, although they will be covered until Tuesday morning.

Belleman said he plans to complete flood gate trial installations this summer at the two levee portal openings on the River Common in Wilkes-Barre.

While most levee openings were necessary due to intersecting roadways, the River Common portals were added to enhance recreational opportunities and attract visitors to an amphitheater and fishing area.

A drill of the Market Street Bridge closure, probably on the Wilkes-Barre side, also is expected this fall, Belleman said.

The authority has new rubber gasket seals for the Market Street flood gates on both the Kingston and Wilkes-Barre sides.

Water pressure blew out the original seals when the Susquehanna swelled to a record 42.66 feet during Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011 because the gates’ bottom panels did not rest properly on the ground, creating a gap. The guide plates that hold the gate panels in place have been modified to correct the problem, Belleman said.


By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.