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Twenty-minute stoppages planned Oct. 20-22 near Lehigh River Bridge

Published October 17. 2009 09:00AM

The Pennsylvania Turnpike reports that motorists traveling northbound and southbound on the Northeastern Extension will be stopped a maximum of 20 minutes at noon, next Tuesday through Thursday. The three day stoppages will occur south of the Lehigh Tunnel and north of the Mahoning Valley (Exit #74) Interchange.

The general contractor, Walsh Construction, continues to excavate the rock slope adjacent to the Lehigh River Bridge and will require the 20-minute stoppages during the demolition task. The stoppages allow the contractor a brief window to safely complete the rock-slope demolition without jeopardizing worker and motorist safety.

State Police will stop traffic, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, south of the Lehigh Tunnel at the Turnpike's Slatington Maintenance facility located at milepost A70.1 (where Mountain Road crosses the Turnpike), just north of the Mahoning Valley Interchange (Exit #74); traffic entering the Northeastern Extension from Route 209 will be stopped at the toll plaza.

Motorists traveling the 2.1-mile stretch between the Lehigh Tunnel and the Mahoning Valley Interchange should continue to anticipate traffic delays during the entire length of the project area. The contractor anticipates the complete rock-slope excavation will take several months with additional stoppages to be conducted Tuesdays though Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Motorists wishing to avoid delays should seek alternate routes.

The work is weather sensitive and may be delayed or rescheduled. Travel advisories will be posted on the project website at as needed.

The Turnpike's $101.6 million project to replace the two bridges that cross the Lehigh River, the Lehigh Canal, Pohopoco Creek, and Route 248, the former Lehigh Valley RR and an active Norfolk Southern Railroad line, began construction this year.

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