BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WTAJ) — PennDOT has provided a start of May update for its local interchange/Route 26 project in Centre County.

The work zone is located along I-80 near the Bellefonte/161 interchange and can affect traffic flow on I-80 and Route 26. and is part of a long-awaited $52 million safety improvement project in Centre County. HRI, Inc. of State College is the contractor.

During the first week of May, PennDOT said drivers should anticipate:

Interstate 80 eastbound:

  • Drivers may encounter delays due to rolling slow-downs while the contractor conducts blasting operations at various points during the week.
  • Overnight Sunday, May 1, through Wednesday, May 4, a right (travel) lane closure on I-80 eastbound will shift all traffic onto the crossover lane. Overnight hours are 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • During daylight hours, I-80 eastbound is in a long-term configuration that sees traffic in the left lane using the crossover to I-80 westbound. Traffic in the travel lane remains on I-80 eastbound and will be shifted onto the shoulder while passing through the work zone. When exiting the work zone, traffic on the shoulder will shift back into the travel lane and traffic from the crossover will rejoin I-80 eastbound in the left lane.
  • An exception to this long-term configuration will occur from 7 a.m. Thursday, May 5, through 6 a.m. Friday, May 6. The crossover will be closed, and all traffic will be shifted onto the shoulder.

Interstate 80 westbound:

  • I-80 westbound is now in its long-term configuration for the summer with two lanes shifted to the right. The right lane rides on the outside shoulder and the left lane rides on what was the travel lane.
  • An exception to this long-term configuration will occur Tuesday, May 2, at 7 a.m. between mile markers 165 and 162 as the contractor performs emergency patch work.
  • Another exception to this long-term configuration will occur overnight Thursday. Both lanes of I-80 westbound will be shifted onto the newly constructed off ramp at mile marker 163. Drivers should use caution. Overnight hours are 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, through 6 a.m. Friday, May 6.

On Route 26, flaggers will be in the roadway to enforce an alternating traffic pattern as drainage work continues. Lane restrictions will be lifted by the end of the day each day.

It’s reported that work this season includes three miles of reconstruction on I-80 eastbound, completion of new ramps and connector road, completion of bridge structure, and reconstruction and improvements on a section of Route 26.

The local interchange project is the first phase of a three-phase project to build local access, a high-speed interchange connection between I-99 and I-80 and make improvements on Jacksonville road. In July 2018, the project was awarded an initial $35 million federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant. Completing all three phases will support the regional freight economy and improve the reliability of roadway travel throughout the region.

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Up-to-date information is available on the project page at