PA Turnpike warns of lengthy detour around bridge closure in Beaver County this weekend
HARRISBURG — If you’re planning to travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Beaver County this weekend, you might want to reconsider those plans.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is warning motorists to either change their travel plans or prepare for a lengthy detour this weekend as the Turnpike Mainline Interstate 76 in Beaver County will be closed while a bridge is demolished and replaced.
PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said in a press release Tuesday that the detour will add more than an hour to travel times.
“As a result, we strongly advise customers to avoid this area or plan for extra travel time during the weekend,” Compton said.
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 (No. 10) for eastbound traffic and the Cranberry Interchange (No. 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 No. 10/New Castle and continue to exit at No. 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.