NJDOT Announces Traffic Pattern Changes on Interstate 78 Westbound; Major Highway Rehabilitation Forges on in Essex and Union Counties

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Beginning on Friday night, Aug. 10, NJDOT’s contractor, a joint-venture of Ferreira Construction and Crisdel Group, is scheduled to begin reconstructing the left and center travel-lanes on I-78 westbound Local lanes through the ongoing project limits in Essex and Union counties, according to an announcement made today by NJDOT.

Overnight lane closures will be necessary to implement the new construction zone on I-78 westbound by the end of the weekend.

During this phase of construction, I-78 westbound will be permanently reduced from five travel lanes to four travel lanes – with two lanes maintained in the Local lanes (reduced from four lanes currently) and two in the Express lanes (increased from one lane currently), respectively. 

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Access from the Peddie Street/Elizabeth Street ramp to I-78 westbound Local will be closed and the I-78 westbound Express shoulder will be closed from Exit 57 to just east of the Garden State Parkway. The entrance ramp from Route 1&9 northbound and Newark Airport onto I-78 westbound will be narrowed to one lane.

NJDOT implemented a similar work zone on the I-78 eastbound local lanes in July.

The $72 million project is constructing a new asphalt roadway along both directions of I-78 from west of Ramsey Avenue (milepost 53.8) in Union Township to the Route 21 interchange (milepost 56.9) in Newark. 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 and the project is scheduled to be completed in early 2014.

The highway is being reconstructed in stages to minimize impacts to motorists. A total of four of the five 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. 

Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) will be utilized on Route 78 as well as the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, to provide real-time work zone traffic information to motorists. 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.

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