Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

    C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E

    Contact: Christina M. Hampton, (610) 279-1645, ext. 3785                         February 24, 1998

BROADCAST SERVICE AT 1-800- 563-5425)

Commuter Parking Prohibited

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will begin a $10 million rehabilitation and expansion of the Lehigh Valley Interchange (Exit 33) on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) this week. The Lehigh Valley Interchange, located approximately 37 miles north of the junction where the mainline Turnpike and the Northeastern Extension meet, connects the Turnpike with U.S. Route 22 in South Whitehall and Upper Macungie Townships in Lehigh County.

Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin said, "There has been tremendous economic growth in the Lehigh Valley over the past several years. This Interchange reconstruction, in conjunction with the recent expansions at the Lansdale (Exit 31) and Quakertown (Exit 32) Interchanges, will contribute to the continued economic expansion of eastern Pennsylvania strengthening the state's economy and benefiting millions of motorists who depend on the Pennsylvania Turnpike."

Work on the Lehigh Valley Interchange, which will include expansion from eight to 13 lanes (nine exit and four entry lanes), is scheduled to be completed by August 1999. According to Turnpike officials, the existing number of entry and exit lanes will remain open to traffic throughout construction.

However, motorists are advised that due to construction PARKING WILL BE PROHIBITED along the ramps and within the Lehigh Valley Interchange. "No Parking Restrictions" will begin on Monday, March 9, 1998 and continue after completion of the project.

The general contractor for the project is Road-Con, Inc., based in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The company, which was the lowest bidder at $9.2 million, will coordinate all construction work at the Interchange. In addition to the general construction contract, contracts were also awarded to successful bidders Guy M. Cooper, Inc. of Willow Grove, PA for plumbing work totaling $106,580 and to Wescott Electric Company, of Glen Riddle, PA for electrical work whose bid totaled $368,840. The award for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) work went to W.G. Tomko & Son, Inc. of Pittsburgh at a bid of $237,000.

Rehabilitation of the Lehigh Valley Interchange includes the construction of a new toll plaza, canopy, utility building, connection to public sewer and water service lines, roadway and plaza lighting, a utility tunnel, the rehabilitation and construction of roadway, ramps and the bridge over U.S. Route 22.

After Labor Day, Turnpike ramps and the bridge crossing over U.S. Route 22 will be closed and reconstructed. Ramp traffic detours will be necessary during this period.

Turnpike Civil Engineer Bernie Bydlon commented, "In order to minimize inconvenience to our customers, we have carefully coordinated the planning of the Lehigh Valley Interchange project with PENNDOT's "22/Renew" construction project."


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649