Here’s an early, unexpected casualty of the covid-19 virus: the Centralia “Graffiti Highway,” a three-quarter-mile stretch of former Pennsylvania Highway 61 just south of town. It’s been closed since 1993. Centralia sits atop a burning coal mine, and fumes could occasionally be seen venting from cracks in the abandoned roadway.
Decades of visitors — trespassing where they shouldn’t — had subsequently covered the asphalt with graffiti in chalk and spray paint.
According to a report on local news station WNEP, during the nationwide covid-19 shutdown, desperate (and really dumb) partiers converged on the highway and began setting fires, which they recorded on video and posted online. That was too much for the property owner, who in early April paid a local coal company to haul in 400 dump trucks of dirt and bury the roadway.
No more Highway 61, no more graffiti, no more parties.
A company spokesman told WNEP that “we’ll probably plant it, and hopefully there will be trees and grass growing there.”
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