Major construction on Interstate 78 westbound will begin Friday night causing overnight lane closures affecting Essex and Union counties, the New Jersey Department of Transportation announced.
The westbound side of the highway will be permanently reduced from five to four travel lanes. Local lanes will be reduced from four to two lanes and the single express lane will be increased to two.
The West Peddie Street/Elizabeth Avenue ramp to I-78 westbound and the I-78 westbound express shoulder will be closed from exit 57 to just east of the Garden State Parkway. The entrance ramp from Route 1&9 northbound and Newark Airport onto I-78 westbound will be narrowed to one lane.
Four of five I-78 travel lanes will remain open in each direction during peak period hours of construction, which is being completed in phases. Single- and double-lane closures will occur during overnight and off-peak hours.
Similar work was done on the I-78 eastbound local lanes in July.
The $72 million project will construct a new asphalt roadway in both directions of I-78, from west of Ramsey Avenue in Union Township to the Route 21 interchange in Newark, one of the busiest stretches of highway, according to NJDOT. The new pavement will last up to 20 years. The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2014.
Drivers can check 511nj.org for real-time travel information.