Graffiti Highway, a road known for being covered in spray paint and bright colors, will now be covered with dirt.
Centralia, Pa., which was once home to over 1,000 residents, has been empty for decades due to underground coal fires that forced residents to leave permanently. However, a small portion of Route 61, commonly known as “graffiti highway,” still remained as a landmark of the seemingly forgotten town.
Since the governor issued a shelter in place warning, there has been an increase in traffic in the area, including ATVs, bonfires and trash being left behind. The land is privately owned by Pagnotti Enterprises, who were handed the land by PennDOT in 2018.
During 1994 the road cracked making it impossible to drive on. After they permanently closed the road people started to spray paint pictures and words to mark their place in history. It’s become an iconic landmark and a piece of history to many people who live in Central Pa.
With Centralia only being a half-hour drive from Bloomsburg’s campus, this hits close to home for many students. Alicia Williams, a senior at Bloomsburg, was just one of many students upset with the decision.
“It’s a shame that they’re doing that because it was somewhere that people could enjoy the outdoors, combined with something historical. And it allowed people to make their mark and be a part of something,” she said.
The owner of the land plans to fill the road with dirt, grass and trees. They also hope that covering the road will prevent parties and trespassing during the COVID-19 outbreak.