Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension Roadway Rehabilitation

Borton-Lawson is responsible for preliminary and final design of 3.5 miles of roadway reconstruction. The project is unique in that it is the first time the pavement on the NE Extension, north of the Lehigh Tunnel, will be replaced “full depth,” since the original pavement structure was placed in the late 1950s. Long term single lane crossovers will be utilized to maintain traffic while work is completed.

Challenges V. Solutions

ChallengeAccommodate minor shoulder widening and profile increase without impacting adjacent environmental features.

SolutionThe use of permanent shoring to support the increased width and profile of roadway was selected, in lieu of extending the toe of fill, to help streamline the permitting effort and minimize impacts to the adjacent environmental features.

ChallengeComplete major construction activities within one construction season, prior to the Labor Day holiday.

SolutionReduced traffic volumes within this section of roadway allow for long term single lane patterns to be in place for the majority of the construction season; however, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission required single lane patterns to be lifted by the Labor Day holiday for the specified construction season. Borton-Lawson suggested the use of rubblized pavement in lieu of full depth removal and replacement. Additionally, A+Bx bidding was utilized as another tool to assist in meeting this construction restriction.

ChallengeTraffic monitoring / incident management.

SolutionAs long term single lane patterns will be in place for the majority of work, response time to an incident within the work zone is critical to the success of the project. PTZ cameras were placed throughout the work zone so emergency response vehicles can be notified at the first sign of an incident. Additionally, portable changeable message signs were installed on and off the turnpike to notify users of the work and/or anticipated backlogs if an incident should occur. Emergency pull-offs (EPOs) were also installed, spaced at 1 mile (max) intervals, to prevent disabled vehicles from getting stuck within the temporary travel lanes.