The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission advises motorists traveling on Interstate 276 (I-276) east from Ft. Washington (Exit #339) and west from Bensalem (Exit 351) to be prepared for new traffic patterns to be implemented eastbound and westbound at the Willow Grove Interchange (Exit 343) before 6 a.m., Feb. 1. Portable and permanent message signs have been activated to provide advance notice of the traffic shift and construction updates.
In preparation for the upcoming bi-directional traffic shifts, the contractor replacing the mainline bridge at milepost 342.7 will establish intermittent traffic patterns starting eastbound at 7 p.m., Jan. 28, weather permitting, between milepost 341-344. The overnight lane closures will continue the rest of the week while the contractor safely reconfigures the two remaining eastbound travel lanes and three existing westbound lanes to begin construction on the north side of the mainline bridge currently under construction at milepost 342.7.
The overnight hours are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., Jan. 28-31 until 6 a.m. the following morning. Crews will be working eastbound and westbound to relocate the temporary concrete barrier and establish a new work zone on the north side of the mainline between milepost 341-344.
Motorists traveling westbound should be prepared to shift lanes as they enter and exit the Willow Grove Interchange.
Work to replace the Turnpike’s mainline bridge, located at milepost 342.7 began in March of 2012. The bridge is located approximately 0.3 miles west of the Willow Grove (Exit #343) Interchange and carries I-276 traffic over Easton Road (SR 611) in Upper Moreland Township, Montgomery County. The anticipated project completion date is December of 2013.
Construction of the bridge is being completed in three stages to maintain two lanes of traffic in both directions during construction. Since July of 2012, the three eastbound and westbound travel lanes have been shifted north around the work zone located between mileposts 340 and 344. By the morning of Feb. 1 all traffic will be shifted south around the newly established construction area and will remain in this pattern for approximately six months. All work is weather sensitive and the contractor’s scheduled construction activities are subject to change.
Motorists should stay alert for slow moving or stopped traffic and obey the posted 40 mph speed limit through the work zone until the patterns are lifted and the traffic switch is complete.
Travel advisories will be posted at www.paturnpike.com and Highway Advisory Radio (1640 AM) will be activated to provide travel updates. In case of an accident, breakdown or other emergency, motorists can utilize the yellow call boxes on the shoulder or dial *11 to receive aid. Be prepared to give your milepost location and direction of travel.
Travelers can get Turnpike traffic alerts by calling 866-976-TRIP (8747) or visiting the live Travel Conditions Map online at www.paturnpike.com/webmap. The Turnpike’s smartphone app, TRIP Talk, streams audio advisories to iPhone and Droid users so they can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. To download the free app, visit www.paturnpike.com/triptalk.