Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717-920-7176
October 15, 2010
Pa. Turnpike Commission to Hold Open-House Meeting about Route 903 Interchange

Oct. 21 meeting will update region's residents and travelers on new 'E-ZPass Only' exit.

HARRISBURG, PA (10/15/2010)(readMedia)-- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission next week will hold an open-house meeting to provide updates to anyone interested in the future "E-ZPass-Only" Interchange in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County, where the Northeastern Extension (I-476) crosses beneath State Route 903. The meeting will take place Thursday, Oct. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Penn-Kidder Campus, 2840 Route 903, Albrightsville, Pa.

The Route 903 Interchange plans and construction schedule will be on display for review, and project-team members will also be available to discuss this new interchange and the right-of-way acquisition process.

Located between the Mahoning Valley Exit (#74) and the Pocono Exit (#95) on I-476, this All-Electronic Interchange will provide an unmanned point of access solely for use by E-ZPass customers who make up more than 60 percent of all Pennsylvania Turnpike traffic. The new link will shorten travel times for commuters, ease traffic congestion at adjacent interchanges and on local roads and provide better access to nearby recreational areas.

"This innovative interchange will positively affect the region by improving mobility and enhancing safety for travelers," said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. "As we approach the next stage, we felt it was imperative to provide information to area residents about what lies ahead."

Phase 1 construction, completed earlier this year, involved a partial build of the new bridge that will eventually carry Route 903 over I-476. Phase 2 will entail the completion of that bridge along with construction of a full-diamond interchange, installation of toll-collection equipment, wetlands mitigation and all remaining work required to complete the access point.

"This project is going to make a truly positive difference for so many people in Northern Carbon County, and I know residents are curious about the details -- especially when the ramps will be open for business," State Rep. Keith McCall, D-Carbon, said. "I'm glad the Turnpike Commission is hosting this meeting, and I'm confident there will be an excellent turnout and dialogue."

Turnpike officials expect that Phase 2 construction will start in spring 2012, with full interchange completion and opening in spring 2014.

The 19-mile distance between Mahoning Valley and Pocono exits is the longest on the Northeastern Extension without an interchange -- and among the longest on the entire 545-mile Pennsylvania Turnpike system.

Interchange updates are available at under the "Construction" heading by clicking the "Projects" subheading. Motorists who would like to sign up for E-ZPass can do so online. Turnpike travelers can also sign up for E-ZPass or have questions answered by calling 1-877-PENN-PASS (1-877-736-6727).

Those requiring accommodations to participate in the Oct. 21 meeting should call Mimi Doyle at 610-239-4117.