NJDOT announces upcoming reconstruction of I-78 local lanes
(Trenton) New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Kris Kolluri today announced that the reconstruction of the local lanes of I-78 in Union County will take place from March 9 through November, 2007. NJDOT completed the reconstruction of the Route I-78 express lanes ahead of schedule, in November, 2006.
“Route 78 is one of the busiest highways in the northeast, with an average daily traffic count of 145,000 vehicles, and NJDOT is working hard to minimize the impact of its reconstruction upon motorists,” said Kolluri. “We will continue to cooperate with all area stakeholders to make this stage of work safe and successful.”
The $42 million project will reconstruct approximately two miles of I-78 in Union Township, Union County, from Springfield Avenue to Walker Avenue. NJDOT will break up the existing concrete and construct hot-mix asphalt pavement on top of this base. The existing pavement will be removed and reconstructed in order to maintain vertical clearance beneath the Vauxhall Road, Burnet Avenue and Halsey Street bridges. Bridge decks, joints and railings will also be repaired.
A total of four of the five I-78 travel lanes will remain open in each direction during peak hours throughout construction.
From March 2007 through mid-summer, NJDOT will reconstruct the two leftmost local lanes and the left shoulder. During this phase of construction, traffic will be shifted to the right shoulder and the right lane in order to facilitate the reconstruction of the two left lanes. The express outside right shoulder lane will be closed. Temporary concrete construction barriers will separate the work area and the local travel lanes.
Access to and from interchanges will not be affected. However, the eastbound express-to-local crossover at Springfield Avenue (Route 124) will be closed. The westbound express-to-local crossover in the Springfield Avenue (Rt. 124) area will be temporarily moved further west. Eastbound traffic’s access to the Garden State Parkway will be via the local lanes only. Eastbound trucks will be encouraged to use the express lanes. NJDOT will provide additional capacity from Route 24 to Route 78 Express by striping a second lane.
From mid-summer 2007 through November 2007, NJDOT will reconstruct the right shoulder and right lane in the local lanes. During this stage of construction, NJDOT will reconstruct the sound walls and widen the decks of the Stuyvesant Avenue and Walker Avenue Westbound bridges.
All crossovers will be available for use from mid-summer through November.
Construction work at the I-78 Entrance ramps to the local lanes at the Springfield Avenue and Vauxhall Road/Burnet Avenue interchanges will require one-week closures with detours.
From October to November 2007, NJDOT will complete paving and striping as well as the reconstruction of the Vauxhall Road interchange. Local lanes closures will continue in the vicinity of the Vauxhall Road/Burnet Avenue interchange.
NJDOT is making a significant effort to minimize the traffic impacts associated with the upcoming construction through public outreach and safety initiatives. NJDOT has notified local mayors and legislators of the upcoming construction and traffic pattern changes. In addition, NJDOT has placed portable Variable Message Signs (VMS) on Route 78 as well as the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway to provide real-time work zone traffic information to motorists, which also can be found on NJDOT’s website. NJDOT will provide information to motorists on park and ride availability and mass transit options.
In order to improve safety and ensure that disabled vehicles are quickly cleared, NJDOT will provide a towing service, emergency response crews, and a large State Police presence at the construction site.
Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.njcommuter.com for project and traffic updates.