Drivers React to PA Turnpike Closure

Crews replacing bridge this weekend

LAKE HARMONY, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - It's the calm before the storm, and Steve Wolfe's taking advantage of it.

"I'm on my way up to see my granddaughter and daughter in Rochester, New York and I wanted to beat the closure. And I'm coming back Tuesday after it reopens," says Steve Wolfe of Quakertown.

From 9 pm Friday to 4 am Monday, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be closed from the Lehigh Valley through Pocono interchanges.

"That's going to be horrible, because i'm on call for my job T-Mobile. It's going to make traveling a nightmare," says Darryl Patrick of Allentown.

Southbound traffic will still be able to pass Exit 95-Pocono and get off at either Route 903 "E-Z Pass Only" or Exit 74-Mahoning Valley.

Crews are demolishing and replacing a 60-year-old bridge in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. Using a certain technique, the bridge can be replaced in one weekend rather than one year. Workers knock down the old bridge, and slide a new one in its place.

Wolfe adds, "it's quite remarkable!"

The Turnpike Commission suggests using Routes 33 and 22, and Interstate 80 to avoid the closure.

"It's probably gunna be pretty bad. Especially on the routes you need to take to get around it," says Bob Shankweiler of Montgomery County.

The Turnpike Commission has this message for drivers: either avoid the area or brace yourselves for a long, lengthy commute this weekend.

The Lehigh Valley bridge being replaced carries about 30,000 vehicles a day.


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