Route 124 in Windsor Township is going to be closed about six weeks longer than residents were initially told -- a delay the state Department of Transportation chalks up to "miscommunication."
PennDOT closed East Prospect Road between Miller Drive and Christensen Road on March 28 for a $1.3 million project to soften a curve and make it safer. At the time, department officials said it would reopen by the end of July.
When August rolled around and the road was still closed, businesses began complaining loudly.
And why not?
They had already lost enough business over the past several months that some had to lay off employees.
That's not to mention the inconvenience to residents and commuters who use one of the county's main east-west arteries on a daily basis.
They had a right to complain, especially when PennDOT wasn't forthcoming with a good explanation.
It looks like that's because there wasn't one.
The delay was not because of circumstances beyond the contractor's control, such as bad weather, or unforeseen obstacles.
In fact, to hear PennDOT's explanation, it really wasn't a delay at all.
The project included raising the road surface, meaning the York Water Co. would also have to raise the water mains under the road, according to PennDOT spokesman Mike Crochunis.
That meant the work would take longer than previously thought, he said.
"That didn't make it to the public," Crochunis said. "That was a miscommunication with the public."
It sounds like there was miscommunication well before the public was informed of the project and told Route 124 would reopen at the end of July.
This project was in the works since 2009, when the York Water Co. was first informed and began planning to detour lines and then install new lines under the raised road.
In 2 1/2 to three years, no one involved in this project noticed the reopening date was overly optimistic -- not PennDOT, the contractor, subcontractors or York Water?
Someone had to know. Yet as late as this year PennDOT was still predicting the road would be open July 31.
The miscommunication was among those responsible for the work, not -- or at least not solely -- between the department's press office and the public.