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Pennsylvania Turnpike reschedules Lehigh County closure, detour for Oct. 13-16

Jeff Himler
| Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, 10:27 p.m.

A lengthy detour lies ahead for those traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Northeastern Extension (Interstate 476) as officials plan to shut down a section of the toll road in Lehigh and Carbon counties for replacement of a 60-year-old bridge.

The Turnpike Commission urges motorists to avoid the area or plan for extra travel time during the closure from 9 p.m. Oct. 13 through 4 a.m. Oct. 16.

Northbound motorists on I-476 will be directed to exit at the Lehigh Valley Interchange (Exit 56) while southbound through traffic will be detoured at the Pocono Interchange (Exit 95). According to turnpike CEO Mark Compton, an authorized detour following routes 22 and 33 and Interstate 80 will add more than an hour to drivers' travel time.

Local travelers headed south will be able to continue past the Pocono Interchange to use either Exit 87, to Route 903 (only for those with an E-ZPass), or Exit 74, at the Mahoning Valley Interchange.

During the closure, crews will complete an Accelerated Bridge Construction process — demolishing the existing, outdated bridge over Crackersport Road and sliding into place a new, adjacent span they have constructed over the past several months. About 30,000 vehicles travel on that segment of the turnpike each day.

The bridge swap was to have taken place the weekend of Sept. 29 but was postponed because of a shift that occurred in the slide mechanism.

Crews completed a similar turnpike bridge replacement two hours ahead of schedule Sept. 22-25 in Beaver County, Compton said.

Visit www.paturnpike.com/ABC for a detour map and other details.

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