The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission reports that motorists traveling on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) north from Mahoning Valley (Exit #74) and south from Pocono (Exit #95) will experience slow-moving traffic paces and stoppages July 29 through August 1 for controlled blasting operations on the southbound side of I-476.

The daytime blasts next week are scheduled to occur at 1:00 p.m., conditions permitting.

For the 1 p.m. blasts, the traffic restrictions will begin at approximately 12:45 p.m.

Turnpike Maintenance personnel and Pennsylvania State Police will stop motorists traveling northbound at the Mahoning Valley Interchange (Exit #74) and southbound at the Pocono Interchange (Exit #95) then begin a slow-moving traffic pace (approximately 25 mph), bringing traffic to a complete stop northbound at milepost A85 and southbound at milepost A89 in advance of the blast zone.

Motorists leaving the Hickory Run Service Plaza to continue northbound on I-476 will be stopped on the ramp and local traffic will be stopped on State Route 903.

Traffic paces and one stoppage of up to 20 minutes are necessary to safely complete blasting operations without jeopardizing worker and motorist safety and are scheduled to occur at 1 p.m. but may be conducted anytime from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The general contractor building the All-Electronic Interchange (AEI) where State Route 903 crosses I-476 at milepost A87 will now move blasting operations to the southbound side of I-476 to begin excavating the for the new ramps.

The work is weather sensitive and may be delayed or rescheduled. The anticipated weekly blasting schedule and periodic travel advisories will be posted on the project website at: www.paturnpike.com/constructionprojects/Rt903AEI [1].

Motorists traveling the 21-mile stretch of I-476 between Mahoning Valley and the Poconos should continue to anticipate traffic restrictions for various construction-related activities for the duration of the project.

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 [2].

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 [3].