HARRISBURG, Pa. (Sept. 19, 2017) -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is warning motorists to change travel plans or prepare for a lengthy detour Sept. 22-25 during a planned weekend closure of the Turnpike Mainline, Interstate 76, in Beaver County as workers demolish and replace a bridge.
“Motorists will face a lengthy detour that will add more than an hour to their travel times,” PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said. “As a result, we strongly advise customers to avoid this area or plan for extra travel time during the weekend.”
The closure will take place from 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, through 4 a.m. Monday, Sept. 25 on Interstate 76. The detour exits are the New Castle Interchange (#10) for eastbound traffic and the Cranberry Interchange (#28) for westbound traffic. The authorized detour route directs motorists to Interstate 376, Interstate 80 and Interstate 79. Local travelers heading eastbound on the PA Turnpike will be able to drive past #10/New Castle and continue to exit at #13/Beaver Valley. The Turnpike will be closed eastbound at Beaver Valley.
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 closure, 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. “It also eliminates the need for months or years of single-lane traffic patterns and other travel restrictions.”
During the Sept. 22-25 closure, crews will demolish and replace a bridge at milepost 20.47 carrying the Turnpike over Brush Creek in New Sewickley Township. The 150-foot-long bridge opened to traffic on Dec. 26, 1951, and today carries roughly 40,000 vehicles per day. Although this is the first time the Turnpike Commission is using the ABC technique, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has successfully deployed it on other roadways.
Details and detour maps are available at www.paturnpike.com/ABC.