July 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced Thursday a planned lane closure for the westbound local lanes on Interstate 78 in Hillside, Irvington and Newark as work on the $72 million roadway rehabilitation project continues to advance.
NJDOT's contractor, a joint-venture of Ferreira Construction and Crisdel Group, is scheduled to implement a traffic pattern change beginning on the night of Friday, July 26. One of two I-78 local travel lanes will be closed in the westbound direction between mileposts 55.6 and 56.6 as work shifts from the right shoulder to the right lane.
To maintain four travel lanes in the westbound direction, a temporary third lane has been added to the express travel lane from milepost 57.3 to 55. A temporary crossover from the local lane will provide access to the express lanes. One lane will continue westbound in the local lanes and three express lanes will be available.
Motorists choosing to use the crossover to the express lanes will have access to Exit 56. However, they will bypass Exit 55. A detour for Exit 55 will be set up directing motorists to Exit 50A, where they can turn around and head east in the local lanes and then onto Exit 54.
Wide loads will be restricted on the one remaining local lane requiring wide loads to use the express lanes in the one-mile stretch of construction. These traffic patterns in the westbound direction are expected to be in place through late-August.
Construction began in March 2012 on the major roadway rehabilitation with the highway being reconstructed in stages, requiring numerous traffic pattern changes and the closure of one travel lane in each direction at certain locations. A total of four I-78 travel lanes will remain open in each direction during peak period hours throughout construction. Single and double-lane closures will be allowed during overnight and off-peak hours.
This is one of the busiest stretches of highway in New Jersey, with an average of 145,000 vehicles traveling it daily. The new pavement is designed to last up to 20 years. The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2014.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.