The Pennsylvania Turnpike is using an innovative engineering procedure, Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC), which allows workers to replace bridges in 55 hours instead of requiring a year or more of roadway construction. As a result, there will be a PA Turnpike closure in our area that will likely have a major impact on travel at the end of September. This closure will result in a significant detour that will add more than an hour to travel time.
“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.”
From 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, through 4 a.m. Monday, Sept. 25, on the east-west mainline (I-76, milepost 20.47) in Beaver County. The detour exits are the New Castle Interchange and the Cranberry Interchange in both directions. The authorized detour route will direct motorists to I-376, I-80 and I-79.
The authorized detour routes will be clearly marked for both through traffic and local traffic. Motorists should pay close attention, looking for the orange and black directional signs while driving the detour. The PA Turnpike Commission is encouraging motorists to avoid this section of the turnpike during the construction weekends or adjust travel plans to account for the detours.
“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.
Learn more about the Accelerated Bridge Construction here — www.paturnpike.com/travel/ABC