The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission advises motorists traveling on State Route 903 near the Turnpike's $22.4-million project to build an All-Electronic Interchange (AEI) in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County that the contractor will shift Route 903 traffic onto the new bridge constructed just north of the existing bridge this week.
Traffic will be shifted onto the new structure to allow the contractor to maintain traffic in both directions on Route 903 during the demolition and replacement of the existing bridge over I-476. When completed, the new, wider superstructure will accommodate three 12-foot through-lanes and turning lanes. Traffic signals will be installed on Route 903 at the new northbound and southbound ramps to I-476. Route 903 will remain open throughout construction.
Motorists traveling the Northeastern Extension near the construction project at milepost A87.07 should continue to anticipate single-lane traffic restrictions, slow moving traffic paces with stoppages (until the end of December), and periodic overnight closures between Pocono and Mahoning Valley during the removal and placement of bridge beams on the new structure until fall 2014.
The new interchange (Exit 87) is located eight miles south of the Pocono Interchange (Exit 95) and 13 miles north of the Mahoning Valley Interchange (Exit 74) in Carbon County. The 21-mile expanse between the Mahoning Valley and Pocono exits is the longest on the Northeastern Extension without an interchange and among the longest across the turnpike system.
The E-ZPass only interchange is expected to provide safety and quality-of-life enhancements to the growing residential and business communities, cut down on the time travelers spend in their cars, and reduce traffic running through Jim Thorpe and Lehighton.
Visitors traveling on the Northeastern Extension will have a shorter commute and easier access to the attractions in the area now that there is a new interchange mid-way between the Pocono and Mahoning Valley Interchanges.
For project and construction related information, please visit the Route 903 All-Electronic Interchange project website at: www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/Rt903AEI.
Travel advisories will be posted at www.paturnpike.com and Highway Advisory Radio (1640 AM) will be activated to provide travel updates. In case of an accident, breakdown or other emergency, motorists can utilize the yellow call boxes on the shoulder or dial *11 to receive aid. Be prepared to give your milepost location and direction of travel.
Travelers can get Turnpike traffic alerts by calling 866-976-TRIP (8747) or visiting the live Travel Conditions Map online at www.paturnpike.com/webmap. The turnpike's smartphone app, TRIP Talk, streams audio advisories to iPhone and Droid users so they can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. To download the free app, visit www.paturnpike.com/triptalk.