Monday, April 6, 2020

Work Begins on Centralia's Graffiti Highway; State Police Enforce


Work began Monday at Graffiti Highway in Centralia.


For years, Centralia's Graffiti Highway has been a popular spot for hikers and off road enthusiasts.  The highway draws onlookers from around the country to see the spray painted highway that closed over 25 years ago and to the see the town that was deserted after the mine fire began.

But most recently, Graffiti Highway has been a problem due to the crowds that have settled on the area during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past three weeks, hundreds of cars were parked near the highway's north and south entrances and even more ATV's were in the area.

But on Monday morning, it seems the owners of the private property are doing something to deter onlookers of the highway.

At daybreak, workers arrived and a bulldozer pushed down one of the hills of dirt on the north end which has allowed tri-axle trucks to haul in dirt which is being piled at the south end.

The are is also being strictly enforced by those working at the site, as Skook News was denied access to the area as soon as we stepped on the property.

Rumors began early Monday that the road was being tore up, and while we have not received confirmation, it appears as if Graffiti Highway will be covered in dirt.

The Pennsylvania State Police from Bloomsburg were also at the site Monday to enforce those parking on each end.

UPDATE: We just received confirmation that the owner's of the property, Pagnotti Enterprises, will be closing Graffiti Highway and covering with dirt.
What are you thoughts?

Read more about the project and what is being done in our UPDATE below

Graffiti Highway to Be Covered with Dirt, Trees, and Grass
https://www.skooknews.com/2020/04/graffiti-highway-to-be-covered-with.html

Photos and Story by J. Reed/Skook News















61 comments:

  1. You're removing a part of history.

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    1. No they are cleaning up Graffiti done by vandals who should have been arrested. That section of highway was no more ART than that crucifix in a glass if urine that was displayed as Art. I am happy the property owner has decided to take back their property.

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  2. In as much as it is a problem right now, (I personally have never written on it) I think covering this up is a big mistake. If people don't visit this, eventually, the story of how the government let down an entire town. Starting as an accident, it was allowed to burn out of control for years, even after almost all the residents were bought off. I say leave the road alone

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    1. I agree with you. people turned something bad into something good and fun to see.

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  3. In as much as it is an inconvenience right now,(I personally have never written on it) I dont think it should be covered up. If people don't come to see this, eventually everyone will forget about the little town the Government turned its back on. It started by accident, but, even after most of the residents were bought off and relocated, the government allowed it to burn out of control for decades. This needs to remain as a constant reminder of that
    Just my opinion

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  4. Many people go to Centralia's "Graffiti Highway" every year. The odd thing is most people do not know, the road (PA-61) was re-routed because of the underground fires. This section is not safe to be on however, they go there anyways. Some go to look, some go to paint, and many litter. Most hikers are aware of the term “carry in – carry out.” However, this happens very little at "Graffiti Highway.” Then there are the people who go to Centralia with truck and/or trailer loads of trash and dump it. My wife and I have been on a volunteer clean-up crew and seen the damage firsthand. It needs to stop! I am glad to see they are covering the abandoned portion of PA-61!

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  5. It's about time this was done

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  6. Wonderful news! Stop the vandalism! I had no idea the palce was private property. The owners should've taken actions against the vandals long time ago. Gald that this problem is finally addressed.

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  7. Wonderful news! Stop the vandalism! I had no idea the palce was private property. The owners should've taken actions against the vandals long time ago. Gald that this problem is finally addressed.

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  8. They will still go on their quads side by sides

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  9. It's one of the most exciting things in the area, leave it be...lol

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  10. This is a historic spot. This is BS

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  11. What are my thoughts? My thoughts are, if it's covered in dirt, then - as soon as no one's looking, excavate!

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  12. The few ruin something for the many once again.

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  13. Though some may not like how it looks...others love it. Either way it is a shame. Being so iconic. It is like losing a part of history for no real reason or benefit. People still go to see where Woodstock was held.

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    1. I agree with you Nancy. It is a part of history. I myself have actually come upon the town by accident a couple of times. It is interesting to see. Like others say, there is always a few who ruin it for the rest.

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  14. that's terrible such an interesting place,had some nice art work among the graffiti.
    going to cut income in that area from people coming to look at the hiway.

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  15. It's a shame. But we brought this on ourselves. Follow the rules or they find better ways to enforce them.

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  16. https://www.timesleader.com/archive/269038/stories-pagnotti-gets-a-20-month-sentence-on-plea-for-perjury102949
    these are the scum

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  17. these are the kind of people that own the land.
    https://www.timesleader.com/archive/269038/stories-pagnotti-gets-a-20-month-sentence-on-plea-for-perjury102949

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  18. Well, there goes one of our biggest attractions...

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  19. about the owners
    https://www.timesleader.com/archive/269038/stories-pagnotti-gets-a-20-month-sentence-on-plea-for-perjury102949

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  20. Even if u put dirt on it , that's not going to stop ppl from going there and all the names and sayings will still be under there , n some ppl mint just take ATV's throw the dirt or walk on the dirt , and I think it's a shame they have to do that alot of ppl love going there ik I did and one day wanted to take my kids n grand children there

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  21. It's a piece of PENNSYLVANIA history...it's not right to do that to it!

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  22. That's really stupid. Why? Because of the virus? That's stupid because this quarantine is not forever, but the road is awesome to see. Who cares about the off-road. Let people live and enjoy the outdoors! Add a trash can in the area? People suck, I get that, but for the larger portion who respects things, that's not cool. Its deserted and outside!

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  23. I enjoyed my hike there. Sad people had to destroy a good thing

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  24. here's an idea...instead of burring it how about milling up the old road first. than bring in dirt. than plant trees!

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  25. Never got to see it and was planning a trip this summer 😔

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  26. This isn't vandalism, it is years of history. And it is being destroyed and lost forever. How do we know that Egyptian Hieroglyphics weren't considered the 'graffiti' of that time? Imagine the knowledge and culture that would have been lost to us if those writings would have been destroyed. We shouldn't be sitting back and watching this be taken from history without an audible word. Is there no local Historical Society to voice objection? When we start allowing the Govt to dictate to us what history is to be preserved, and what history is not, we have given it too much unchecked power.

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  27. I hope it packs down good for a nice jump

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  28. I think you should proofread your work.
    I have the memories of driving through Centralia on that road. There wasn't graffiti then, it was a way to get from one place to the next.

    Put up a sign with the story, and next to that a big wall for the idiots to put up more graffiti.

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  29. I think you should proofread your work.
    I have the memories of driving through Centralia on that road. There wasn't graffiti then, it was a way to get from one place to the next.

    Put up a sign with the story, and next to that a big wall for the idiots to put up more graffiti.

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  30. I think you should proofread your work.
    I have the memories of driving through Centralia on that road. There wasn't graffiti then, it was a way to get from one place to the next.

    Put up a sign with the story, and next to that a big wall for the idiots to put up more graffiti.

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  31. Honestly I don’t think it should be covered up. It’s a lot of history and art. It’s sad when people have to ruin things for others. Why cover up such a beautiful thing?! Honestly why destroy a good thing? It’s not like this virus is going to last a lifetime, honestly that’s a poor excuse. Why get rid of the one thing people loved going to see and add a piece of their own art to. Just why? That’s a very large attraction site. This is honestly sad and I’m very disappointed and disgusted with their choice. Especially with no real reasoning as to destroying it.

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  32. Whoa people, time to get a grip. Private Property. You are trespassers. Graffiti is destruction of private property. If you want to go there and play with paint cans then take up a collection and buy the land. Otherwise, how would you like it if everyone in the state came to your house and painted up your driveway, walkway, etc?

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  33. What a damn shame what a bunch of assholes all because of a stupid virus no one will remember in 20 years

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  34. i drove from Indiana to visit the site and enjoy its story, along with the remains of the town and the very interesting cemataries. The broken road is intersting but knowing its story and being right on site is the most exciting feeling. It was a pleasure to walk the highway and town, and also to leave my mark on a beautiful piece of history.

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  35. O PLEASE! IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTROL PERIOD!

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  36. I must say, I have lived in and out of my home state of Pa. I must add, outside people think Pa is a beautiful state and people are sooo nice. Your not seeing the big picture here darling, it’s an impression of the state, seeing graffiti, gives the state of Pa a bad reputation. My son is from another state and continues too rave how beautiful of a state Pa is. I must laugh, because I see it as disrespected. You can live a little without graffiti. You should grow a little and understand the big picture.

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  37. Graffiti Highway is the TIP OF THE ICEBERG. Try being there during Memorial Day Weekend to visit a family grave in one of the four cemeteries. Its ATVs, 4-wheelers, off road motorcycles running all over with no respect for graveside services. And when graveside visitors are not there the rest of the year, it graffiti paint on cemetery building, flags stolen off graves, breakdown of anything standing. Let a home be vacated and before the state can even level it, the vandals have great joy breaking windows, breaking through the walls, spraying more graffiti - the mostv recent was the Woomer home on Wood Street. Dumping is big past-time and 40-50 volunteers do the cleanup twice a year, year after year.

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  38. Shame on you! This is history under attack!

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  39. Roadwork and bridge repair is halted but they can do this? How is Governor Wolf allowing this? Essential? I think not.

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  40. That is unfortunate, I have enjoyed the several times I went there with my family. There is very unique history in centralia. I will miss graffiti highway. RIP!!

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  41. Complete bullshit. Destroying a public art project that was very much incomplete.

    Time to make more Graffiti Roads!

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  42. Private property is private property. People ruined it for the ones that enjoyed it. The ones that own it are in a position to close it. I'm sure most of you enjoyed it so much as you walk right past the trash cause it wasnt your problem also!!

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  43. People should learn to not get out of hand all these years and now people wana screw it up... thanks jerk offs

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  44. Cant believe it karma will get the owners . pathetic its history wanna clean up area charge 2 bucks for people to go out on it . that way you clean up the garbage

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  45. People suck, others have to ruin everything. I can understand though the whole area is dangerous as it could collapse at any time because of the mines underneath and the fire still burns very near by. I have my doubts but if all this land is private property what are the new owners going to actually do with the property? I think if anything they should build a museum like they did up at Woodstock and fill it with the history and artifacts of Centralia. I think that would be the better route to go in my opinion.

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  46. I don't understand. If it was people in quads and dirt bikes and those 4 wheel rovers creating the issues... then how is covering this in dirt going to do anything more than make the site for THEM to USE, rather than those who walked it and painted on it?

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  47. I bet stupid Governor Wolf had something to do with this! I thought this town couldn't be own by anyone other state or federal government?

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  48. I'm glad it's being done it's not abandoned it was condemned because it was dangerous to drive on. Hopefully it will keep the vandals away. Was costing the area alot of money not to mention the amount of chemicals going into the ground water. I like how people called an area devastated by a tragedy a tourist attraction and though spray painting a round was ok. The locals hated all the idiots that would cause accidents or get hurt up there. I mean the disrespect the people from out town had for the area especially the cemetery was unbelievable. What people didnt realize was it wasn't if a collapse would happen but when. They happen all the time in the area and some are still undiscovered. It's a dangerous area stay away.

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  49. Wow. Congrats to the owners of the property for Destroying History without batting an eyelash. No fricks given. 👏👏👏

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  50. So sad this had to happen. I never even got to see it in person.

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  51. Sounds like its personal owned- they have the right to do whatever they want............................... They may actually NOT want people to get sick or infect their area....Whatever this is whats happening in an insane world so-~~~~~~~~

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  52. They keep removing pieces of history all over the world and in the states. A few years ago they tore down statues of confederate soldiers because they said it was supporting slavery. Now they are covering over this highway. If they think this is going to stop people, I hate to tell them, but it won't. Sadly people will just go else where and put graffiti. I don't understand why they have to keep messing with historic landmarks. They remind us of a past and keep us from making the same mistakes in the future.

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