PHILLIPSBURG, NJ (Warren County) – Construction activities are expected to begin this week on a multi-faceted project aimed at rehabilitating approach slabs and structural components at various overpasses and approach bridges along the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s roughly 6.5-mile-long I-78 segment in western New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.
Motorists may encounter periodic backups and travel delays as various lane closures and traffic shifts are implemented on I-78 to carry out the project between now and fall 2018. There will be a brief hiatus in lane closures when construction activities are placed on hold during the winter.
The project entails bridge approach slab replacements at eight approach structures (relatively short-distance overpass/underpass type bridges), cleaning and painting at six approach and overpass structures, and an assortment of other tasks, including restriping the Commission’s entire I-78 roadway segment.
Construction activities will ramp up this week with milling and paving of rumble strips along the eastbound highway shoulders in the areas where initial project work will be taking place and where traffic shifts will be needed in the coming months.
To carry out this work, the contractor may restrict I-78 eastbound traffic to a two-lane pattern instead of the current three-lane configuration during peak travel hours (5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays) and to a single-lane pattern during off-peak hours (8 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays). Moderate backups and travel delays could periodically arise when lane closures are in effect.
Motorists are urged to allow extra time to reach their destinations when traveling I-78 eastbound through the project area next week. Motorists also should reduce speeds and exercise caution whenever traveling through the various active work zones.
The westbound lane closures and weekend lane closures also will be utilized in coming weeks to carry out the project. The Commission will provide advance notice as addition travel restrictions are implemented over the course of the project.
Project-related travel restrictions primarily will involve protracted single-lane closures that will limit motorists to two travel lanes in a respective direction instead of the usual three travel lanes.
However, there will be several weekends over the course of the project where the project contractor will need to restrict traffic along a respective direction of I-78 to a single-lane pattern instead of the normal three-lane configuration. These single-lane patterns will involve intensified 34-hour work periods (8 p.m. Fridays to 6 a.m. Sundays) on select weekends. Although weekend traffic volumes are lower, severe backups and travel delays remain likely during the single-lane travel periods.
Additional information about the project, can be found at their website drjtbc.org/project/I-78.
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(Photo Courtesy: Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission)