I-76 reconstruction will require
lane closures and new traffic patterns
as the Direct Connection project advances
Motorists advised to stay alert as lane shifts will begin this week
(Trenton) – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced the start of a new phase of the Direct Connection project that will reconstruct I-76 at Market Street requiring lane closures and new traffic patterns in Mt. Ephraim and Gloucester City, Camden County.
The work will address historic flooding issues on I-76 under the Market Street overpass by improving the roadway profile, adding inlets and larger drainage pipes between the I-76 bridge over Route 130 through Kings Highway/CR 551.
The lack of shoulders near the Market Street Bridge will require one out of five I-76 eastbound lanes to be closed. Later in the project, two eastbound lanes will be closed, and additional lanes may be closed at night.
Five I-76 eastbound lanes will be maintained through the bridge over Klemm Avenue where the right lane will become an exit only for Route 130 southbound, leaving four travel lanes through the Market Street overpass. The new pattern is expected to be in place by 7 a.m. Tuesday, April 29.
At 9 p.m. Monday, April 28, NJDOT's contractor, PKF Mark III, will close one lane of I-76 eastbound and at 10 p.m. the contractor will close another two or three lanes for restriping. At least one lane will be maintained at all times with a possibility of two travel lanes remaining open. By 7 a.m. Tuesday, April 29 four lanes will be open for traffic, with only a single lane closed until 2 p.m.
Beginning Tuesday, April 29 through Friday, May 2, the left lane of I-76 eastbound will be closed each night between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. the following day as crews install construction barriers. Two of the five I-76 westbound lanes will be shifted onto the eastbound roadway using a temporary median crossover after Exit 1B and just past Browning Road overpass before Market Street.
Barrier curb will be installed creating a narrow two-lane segment for about one mile through the construction zone. Traffic using the two crossover lanes will not have access to the Market Street Exit 1C and the Route 130 northbound Exit 1D. To minimize the traffic impacts and to speed the work, crews may be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
At 8 p.m. Friday, May 2 crews are expected to close one I-76 westbound lane to begin restriping. At 9 p.m. an additional lane or two will be closed, leaving at least two lanes available for traffic. It is possible that four out of five lanes will be closed overnight to create a new traffic pattern.
As soon as the restriping is complete on Saturday morning, May 3, the new traffic pattern shifting two westbound lanes onto the eastbound roadway will be implemented. Construction barrier curb will be installed along the right shoulder to create a safe work zone allowing work to begin on the Market Street and Route 130 ramps, which will require weekend closures expected later in May.
Variable message signs are being utilized throughout the project limits to provide advance notification to motorists of all traffic pattern changes associated with Direct Connection. Throughout the project, NJDOT will provide information before upcoming lane closures or traffic shifts.
This work is part of the Direct Connection project that will provide a seamless route for I-295 motorists traveling through the interchange of I-295, I-76, and Route 42. The I-76 reconstruction in the Market Street area is part of the $160 million Contract 1, which includes work along I-295 south of Essex Avenue, and the replacement of the Creek Road and Bell Road bridges.Work under this first contract is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015.
The Direct Connection project has been divided into four separate construction contracts, with completion of the fourth and final contract in the fall of 2021. NJDOT's project website provides construction activity schedules and updates.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT's traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.