If you were driving north on route 61 in the heart of the Anthracite coal region in Pennsylvania in recent years, you may have come across a detour of 61 at the top of a hill in a community called Ashland. Thinking nothing of it you would have followed the detour signs that took you around some possible road construction or a bridge being worked on. You're then reconnected with Rt. 61 again.
Many have followed this path in recent years with little knowledge of the on going story of this little detour and the town that no longer is really a town. If you had disregarded the detour signs and make the right that 61 north takes through Ashland your first clue that something isn't right would be the abrupt end to route 61 as it once was.
I would like to personally thank Offroaders for helping provide the information contained above. For more information and pictures on this closed off section of Rt. 61 and Centralia itself, please visit: http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/centralia.htm. Thank you for your cooperation...
This road closure seems to be more than just a little construction up around the bend. At closer inspection it would seem to be a more permanent close of the road. If you were to look to your right and follow a small, slightly less engineered road down and around the closed route 61 it would re-emerge at the beginning of the story. Centralia.
In 1983, Route 61, suffers severe subsidence damage from fire. DER stabilizes roadway at a cost of approximately $0.5 million. However, in 1992/1993, Route 61 was closed indefinitely. The new section of Route 61 connecting Centralia with Ashland was completed and opened in June of 2000. The closed section of Route 61 is still there, but only accessible on foot. This cache will take you part way down this section of the road, which is full of graffiti. Some of this graffiti is tasteful and pretty cool, but there is some vulgar graffiti as well. I guess some people just can't help themselves and must express themselves in a vulgar and destructive way. Please attempt this cache at your own risk, knowing that there is an underground mine fire present. This area does get alot of visitors, but you should not have a hard time with this cache. But you will get a first hand view at the destruction this mine fire caused and is continuing to cause to the area.
Congratulations to skookjeeper for the FTF on this one!!!