Thursday, February 23, 2017

Authorities Crack Down on Graffiti Highway Trespassing

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police have begun to be more vigilant on visitors who are exploring the Graffiti Highway, in Centralia, Columbia County.

Graffiti Highway is the old Route 61 that led from Ashland to Centralia.  Two decades ago the highway was closed after it began to warp and PennDOT officials felt it was unsafe to be driven on.  A bypass has been used ever since through Byrnesville.

After closing, the highway began to be known as "Graffiti Highway" when visitors exploring the abandoned highway would spray paint their name among other "art" on the road.  The road itself has become just popular as Centralia.

For years, PennDOT and the State Police have stressed that the highway is off limits.

PennDOT said the changing subsurface and surface conditions was creating the potential for hazards due to instability underneath the road. For liability reasons, and since the closure in the 1980’s, the closed roadway had been posted, and barrier of one form or another put in place at each end to help keep people out. “No Trespassing” signs were put up in both September and again in December 2016.
Recently, a Facebook event surfaced online called "Barbie Jeep Racing" where adults would have rode "Barbie Jeeps" down the bumpy highway.

This event prompted officials to crack down even more on the highway to keep people out.

PennDOT says that the State Police will be patrolling the area and people will be cited if they are trespassing.