The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission cautions motorists that a 22-mile stretch of the Northeastern Extension (I-476) will be closed in both directions for six hours Sunday between the Mahoning Valley (Exit 74) and Pocono (Exit 95) interchanges.
The closure is necessary for the protection of motorists and workers during removal of steel girders from the bridge that carries Route 903 over the Turnpike at milepost A87 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County.
At 12:01 a.m. Feb. 23 weather permitting, all traffic will be diverted off I-476 southbound at the Pocono Interchange and diverted off northbound at the Mahoning Valley Interchange. Motorists stopped at the Hickory Run Service Plaza will not be permitted to reenter I-476 northbound once the Turnpike is closed. The Northeastern Extension will reopen to traffic by 6 a.m.
Locally, from midnight to 3 a.m., the contractor will utilize flagger-controlled, single-lane traffic restrictions for motorists traveling in both directions on State Route 903.
Pennsylvania State Police and Turnpike personnel will be positioned at the Mahoning Valley and Pocono interchanges to assist motorists. Motorists can tune to radio 1640 AM for detour information and traffic conditions or call the Turnpike Roadway Information line at 866.976.8747. Changeable message signs will also provide updated information regarding closures and detours. Motorists are encouraged to plan travel accordingly. For emergencies, dial *11 on your mobile phone.
DETOURS: Traveling southbound on I-476 - Exit at the Pocono Interchange and follow Interstate 80 east to Exit 284 to State Route 115 south to State Route 209 south to reenter I-476 at the Mahoning Valley Interchange.
Traveling northbound on I-476 - Exit at the Mahoning Valley Interchange and take State Route 209 north to State Route 115 north to Interstate 80 west to Exit 277 to reenter I-476 at the Pocono Interchange.
The project funded wholly by toll revenues without any state or federal tax dollars is being built by New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. Inc., of New Enterprise. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission awarded the $22.4 million contract to build the Route 903 All-Electronic Interchange (AEI) in Jan. 2013. The E-ZPass Only Interchange (new Exit #87) is located nine miles south of the Pocono Interchange and 13 miles north of the Mahoning Valley Interchange. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.
For more information visit www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/Rt903AEI. In case of inclement weather, the closure will be rescheduled for March 2 with times and detours still applicable.