SPRING GARDEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- From Washington DC, to New York, and then Philadelphia, Pope Francis is surely leaving his mark on the east coast during his visit to the United States. With massive crowds, the impact is even being felt in York County, where trucking companies are scrambling to keep things business as usual.
"90% of my routes are to New York," said Billy Frederick, a driver at Eckert Trucking Inc. in York County, as he prepared to take a load of building materials to New Jersey.
"I would normally run through Philadelphia to save time and money," said Frederick, but not with so many people already flocking to the city to catch a glimpse of the pope. "I'll take other routes to get to where I have to be," he said, although he still expects to hit traffic, and knows the trip will cost more. "We're going to have to burn more fuel and take a longer route."
Dispatcher Lori Myers already had to reschedule one stop because a driver got stuck in traffic in New Jersey. "He was supposed to be back here in Middletown, Pa by 1 p.m. and there's no way," laughed Myers. "So I had to call the customer to cancel it, reschedule it to tomorrow."
"We'll have to change roads, go out and around somewhere to get around," said Ervin Eckert, the owner of Eckert Trucking Inc. "Philadelphia is where we are going to be messed up, we may have to reschedule them because it sounds like that's going to be a mess down there."
For help navigating traffic, drivers are urged to visit Papal 511.