Drivers traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Beaver County and Lehigh County may want to find another route on the weekends of Friday, Sept. 22, and Friday, Sept. 29. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will shut down sections of the highway to replace two bridges, resulting in a long detour that will add more than one hour to travel time.
Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, through 4 a.m. Monday, Sept. 25, an 18-mile stretch of the turnpike mainline on Interstate 76 will be shut down in Beaver County. Detours exits will be established at the New Castle interchange at Exit 10 going eastbound and the Cranberry interchange at Exit 28 headed westbound.
Motorists will be detoured Interstate 376, Interstate 80 and Interstate, an 80-mile route that adds 62 miles to the trip. Detour drive time is about 75 minutes. Local travelers going east can drive past Exit 10 and use Exit 13 at Beaver Valley.
A 65-year-old 150-foot long bridge over Brush Creek in New Sewickley Township will be demolished and replaced during this time frame. About 40,000 vehicles each day cross the bridge, according to PTC.
Blue line shows 18-mile section of I-76 closed on Sept. 22-25. Red line indicates the 80-mile detour.
On the following weekend starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, through 4 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 2, a 36-mile stretch of the Northeastern Extension on Interstate 476 will be closed in Lehigh County. Detour exits will be set at the Lehigh Valley interchange at Exit 56 for northbound traffic and the Pocono Interchange at Exit 95 for southbound traffic.
Detours will take drivers to Route 22, Route 33 and Interstate 80, a 70-mile route adding about 35 miles to the trip. Detour travel time is about 70 minutes. Southbound local travelers can drive past Exit 95 and use Exit 87 or Exit 74.
During this time, a 60-year old bridge 131 feet in length also will be demolished and replaced over Crackersport Road in South Whitehall Township. The bridge carries about 30,000 vehicles each day.
Blue line shows 36-mile section of I-476 closed on Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. Red line indicates the 70-mile detour.
The Turnpike Commission will be using a method called Accelerated Bridge Construction that reduces the time and money spent on replacing a bridge. Closures will last 55 hours for each bridge replacement. Over the past several months, construction crews have built a replacement bridge adjacent to the old one, allowing traffic to flow. Interstate closures will allow crews to demolish the old bridge and slide the new spans into position.
For more information about the construction process and detours, visit PATurnpike.com/ABC.
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