New traffic patterns will go into effect early next week for Route 22's Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge Rehabilitation Project.
Travel is being restricted to one lane in each direction for nearly 2.25 miles of the highway.
The changes involve lane shifts along Route 22 eastbound, which are expected to cause traffic delays, and a shutdown of the ramp that allows traffic from Larry Holmes Drive and Route 611 to enter Route 22 east on the Easton side of the bridge. That ramp will remain closed until mid-autumn.
The new patterns will remain in place until mid-December to allow construction to get fully underway on the bridge over the Delaware River, as well as the Route 22 approaches leading to the bridge in Easton and Phillipsburg.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is encouraging travelers to use Interstate 78 as an alternative to Route 22 during the project.
It also is encouraging travelers not to take the Northampton Street Bridge, also known as the free bridge, between Easton and Phillipsburg because it has weight restrictions and already is heavily congested at peak travel times.
Route 22 motorists should anticipate congestion and delays in both directions, especially during peak travel periods: 6 to 9 a.m. eastbound and 3-6 p.m. westbound.
The bridge rehab project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015. The commission expects to restore two lanes of travel in each direction on the bridge for three months during the winter of 2013-14, with lane restrictions resuming in March.
In addition to the toll bridge, the project will include the approach bridge that carries Route 22 over Route 611 in Easton, the Bank Street and Third Street overpasses in Easton, the approach roadway in Phillipsburg and the toll plaza in Phillipsburg.
The long-term, single-lane patterns are shown on new maps posted Friday on the commission's website.