Long stretch of Northeast Extension closed this weekend

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Long stretch of NE Extension closed this weekend. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 7 p.m. on October 14, 2017. (WPVI)

A long stretch of the Northeast Extension (I-476) will be shut down this weekend for an estimated 55 hours so crews can replace a bridge.

The highway will be closed between the Lehigh Valley Interchange, Exit #56, and the Mahoning Valley Interchange, Exit #74.

The closure began on Friday, October 13, at 9 p.m.

And that made for a frustrating commute Saturday for anyone trying to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike north of Allentown.

Crews are working to replace a 60-year-old bridge.

Workers are demolishing the current bridge and moving the new section into place.

And as you can imagine, the bumper to bumper traffic is causing frustration for drivers.

Nick O'Neil of Wilmington says, "What would have been a three hour commute will probably now be four and a half."

A lot of drivers wished they had done a little research ahead of time.

Dan Guerrero of Bethlehem said, "I would have gotten off at Quakertown and took it the whole way in."

For Gunner Albertson of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. and his family, the longer drive to his destination means a little extra time, nice and close in the car - though in the 21st century that means for his son, "I give him the tablet and hope for the best," Albertson said.

But Albertson knows the work has got to be done, and he says he will sit in traffic and do nothing.

"A lot of the bridges are so bad everywhere, so if they need to replace them there's nothing they can do about it," Angie Domenick of Rehoboth Beach said.

The road is slated to reopen on Monday, October 16 at 4 a.m.

The closure will allow crews to replace the bridge at mile marker 57.66.

The detour will direct drivers to Route 22, Route 33 and Interstate 80.
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