News Release

    October 5, 2017


Northeastern Extension Bridge Closure Rescheduled for Oct. 13-16
PA Turnpike warns of long detour at Lehigh Valley, Pocono exits.


HARRISBURG, PA. (OCT. 5, 2017) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission warns motorists to change travel plans or brace for a long detour from Oct. 13-16 during a planned weekend closure of the Northeastern Extension (Interstate 476) in Lehigh and Carbon counties as workers replace a 60-year-old bridge.

The detour will occur from 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, through 4 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16. The detour exits are the Lehigh Valley Interchange (#56) for northbound traffic and the Pocono Interchange (#95) for southbound traffic. The authorized detour route directs motorists to Route 22, Route 33 and Interstate 80.

 “Motorists will face a lengthy detour that will add more than an hour to their travel times,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “As a result, we strongly advise customers to avoid this area or plan for extra travel time during the detour weekend.”

Local travelers heading southbound on the PA Turnpike will be able to drive past Exit #95/Pocono and continue to exit at #87/Route 903 “E-ZPass Only” or #74/Mahoning Valley. The Turnpike will be closed southbound at Mahoning Valley.

During the closure, crews will demolish and replace a bridge at milepost 57.66 carrying the Northeastern Extension over Crackersport Road in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. The 131-foot-long bridge opened to traffic on Nov. 7, 1957 and today carries roughly 30,000 vehicles per day.

Compton said the Turnpike is using a proven engineering technique called Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) that allows workers to replace a bridge in one weekend rather than a year or more of construction. During the 55-hour construction, workers will demolish the old bridge and slide the new spans into position. For the last several months, crews have been constructing the new spans next to the existing bridge.

“The Accelerated Bridge Construction process is a safe, cost-effective way to replace bridges within a short timeframe while improving safety for workers and motorists in construction zones,” Compton said. “Last month our bridge-replacement project and related detours in Beaver County ended two hours ahead of schedule. We are hopeful next weekend goes equally as well.”

Details and detour maps are available at


EDITOR’S NOTE: To view a time-lapse video of the Accelerated Bridge Construction slide maneuver shot during the Turnpike’s Sept. 22-25 detour in Beaver County, click here:

CONTACT: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717.831.7176
Kathleen Walter
Phone: 6103.313.6383