Traffic Pattern Changes Begin Tonight on Rte. 78 in Union/Essex Counties
Major highway rehabilitation progresses in Essex and Union counties.
Beginning Friday night, motorists will experience traffic pattern changes on Route 78 eastbound in Essex and Union counties.
It's one of the busiest stretches of highway in the state, say NJDOT officials, and they are working to ensure that as many lanes as possible stay open during peak travel times as they resurface the road.
Beginning July 20, Ferreira Construction and Crisdel Group are scheduled to begin reconstructing the left and center travel-lanes on I-78 eastbound local lanes in stretches of the highway in Essex and Union counties.
During this phase of construction, I-78 eastbound 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.
The Exit 56 (W. Peddie Street/Elizabeth Avenue) ramp from the I-78 eastbound express lanes will be reopened.
Overnight lane closures will be necessary to implement the new construction zone on I-78 eastbound.
The contractor will also reconstruct the express to local crossover on I-78 westbound in the express lanes in the vicinity of Lyons Avenue (milepost 55.7). This work will be accomplished over the weekends of July 20-23 and July 27-30, requiring the following impacts:
- The I-78 westbound express lanes at the NJ Turnpike Toll Plaza will be closed overnight beginning at 10 p.m. (reopening at 9 a.m. Saturday morning; 11 a.m. Sunday morning; and 4 a.m. Monday morning)
- The I-78 westbound express to local slip ramp at milepost 55.7 will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday until around 5 a.m. Monday.
- The Route 1&9 southbound entrance onto I-78 westbound express will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday until around 4 a.m. Monday, with route 1&9 south traffic being directed to the Local lanes.
- I-78 westbound local lanes will be reduced from four travel lanes to three in this area – between Exits 56 and 54 - during these same working hours.
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.
According to NJDOT, 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.