FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A bridge replacement project will fully close a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Route 476) early in September.
PennDOT officials say thousands of drivers will have to go around a portion of the Northeast Extension.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will replace a bridge on the Northeast Extension starting next week in a project called Accelerated Bridge Construction -- replacing a bridge in only a few days.
That means Route 476 will be shut down between the Lehigh Valley exit (56) to the Mahoning Valley exit (74) next weekend.
"Well, what are you going to do? They got to get it done and there is not much you can do. People will have to plan ahead of time and take the detours," said Jan Grover of Weatherly.
According to PennDOT officials, the closure will start next Friday, September 6, at 9 p.m. It will last through Monday, September 9, at 4 a.m.
The through traffic detour is about 70 miles. Click here for a map of the detour.
Drivers will have to use Route 22, Route 33, and Interstate 80 to get around.
Bill Burke from Quakertown comes through this part of Carbon County almost every week.
"I think I will just avoid it. That is it. I will either find another way or postpone my trip or work around it."
Thousands of drivers use this stretch of Turnpike every single day. Some people we spoke to say their plan is to avoid it. but for some others, they have no other choice but to find a way around it.
"I don't know. My wife has appointments, so I got to go around it. That's the bad part. The people that work in Allentown, I mean, they got to work Saturdays and Sundays and everything else. It's really bad," said Robert Otto of Franklin Township.
Turnpike officials admit completely closing the Turnpike can mean significant travel delays but say doing the whole bridge replacement in one weekend avoids long-term construction and lengthy traffic troubles.
The Turnpike did a similar bridge replacement in 2017.