Pennsylvania Roads - PA 61
This route is somewhat closer to the whole Centralia shebang than is PA 54, because while 54 wussed out and took a long detour around Centralia, PA 61 (which used to be multiplexed with 54 right through town, from Mount Carmel to Ashland) stayed put. You can see almost all there is to see either on 61, on a side road connecting to 61, or on the former alignment of 61. Each of these has its own page, so we'll start out here with PA 61 itself, and give everything else its own page (several pages total) via the big links at the bottom of this one.
Or if you're excited, visit abandoned PA 61/54 now
A few photos SB in Reading, where PA 61 ends at Business US 222 (which is how one reaches the PA Turnpike, or via I-176). The first is an old street sign at Robeson St., the second is an original Turnpike trailblazer that needs to be replaced, and the third is a standard PA historical sign.
Port Clinton Ave., old PA 61, SB heading into Centralia. Port Clinton is now a narrow two-lane, whereas PA 61 is a 50's-era divided highway that sails dozens of feet over Hamburg.
SB but now turned sideways, PA 61 proper.
Northbound approaching Centralia, the four-lane highway starts to end via a NB merge to one lane, and then there's a sudden curve right with a pile of dirt ahead. There are cars parked on that stub, and people climbing over the dirt. There must be an abandoned roadway there. Wow, I'm psychic. To see more of it, follow the first big link below.
Looking south along what was once a four-lane highway.
At the south and north ends (respectively) of that abandoned roadway, PA 61 stops using its semi-temporary alignment and returns to being 61. PA SR 2002 just happened to be perfectly situated for the task (after being improved to the south to meet 61 again), and since the majority of traffic to once-bustling Centralia is tourists like myself, two lanes can do the job instead of four. The fact that SR 2002 still exists and hasn't been taken over by 61 hints that should the coal fires eventually go out and the roadway become safe again, PA 61 may be repaired to its original four-lane glory.
There's that windmill from the south stub, now looking north from the north end of the Centralia alignment.
Simple sign goof with a decent enough correction, PA secondary route 4029 WB in the heart of Centralia. PA 42 begins to the right, PA 61 is left and straight, and PA 54 used to also be left and straight.
For good measure, as we enter Centralia, this warehouse probably has been abandoned for much longer than the fires have been burning. To see more of abandoned Centralia (most of the other structures have been razed, though, unless they're occupied), follow the second big link below.
PA 61 SB at the PA 42/SR 4029 junction. Follow PA 61 to the tunnel.
Continuing north to Shamokin.
SB leaving Sunbury across Shamokin Creek.
Sunbury has a truck route that follows Chestnut St. two blocks to the south of actual 61 (Market St.), I presume to keep trucks out of the narrow downtown.
Abandoned PA 61/54, Centralia
To the PA Turnpike, I-76
Onto PA 42
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