Interstate 76 (Ohio–New Jersey)

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Interstate 76 marker

Interstate 76

I-76 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ODOT, OTIC, PTC, PennDOT, DRPA, and NJDOT
Length434.87 mi[2] (699.86 km)
Existed1964[1]–present
Major junctions
West end I-71 / US 224 near Westfield Center, OH
Major intersections
East end I-295 / Route 42 in Bellmawr, NJ
Location
CountryUnited States
StatesOhio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey
CountiesOH: Medina, Summit, Portage, Mahoning
PA: Lawrence, Beaver, Butler, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Somerset, Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, Franklin, Cumberland, York, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Berks, Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia
NJ: Camden
Highway system
SR 75OH SR 76
PA 75PA PA 76
Route 75NJ Route 76
Route 7676C Route 77

Interstate 76 (I-76) is an east–west Interstate Highway in the Eastern United States. The highway runs approximately 435 miles (700 km) from an interchange with I-71 west of Akron, Ohio, east to I-295 in Bellmawr, New Jersey. This route is not contiguous with I-76 in Colorado and Nebraska.

Just west of Youngstown, I-76 joins the Ohio Turnpike and heads around the south side of Youngstown. In Pennsylvania, I-76 runs across most of the state on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, passing near Pittsburgh and Harrisburg before leaving the turnpike at Valley Forge. At Valley Forge, I-76 becomes the Schuylkill Expressway and eventually enters Philadelphia and then crosses the Walt Whitman Bridge into New Jersey. After only about three miles (4.8 km) in New Jersey, I-76 reaches its eastern terminus, though the freeway continues as Route 42 and the Atlantic City Expressway to Atlantic City.

Route description[edit]

Lengths
  mi km
OH 82.12 132.16
PA 352.00 566.49
NJ 3.08 4.96
Total 434.87 699.86

Ohio[edit]

The western terminus of I-76 in Ohio at I-71

I-76 begins at exit 209 of I-71 in Westfield Township, approximately six miles (9.7 km) east of Lodi, Ohio; US Route 224 (US 224) continues west from the end of I-76. The interchange was previously a double trumpet but was reconstructed in 2010.[3] Officially, I-76 begins at the beginning of the ramp from I-71 north; it merges with US 224 at mile 0.61. After passing through rural Medina County, I-76 enters Summit County and soon crosses State Route 21 (SR 21, old US 21), once the main north–south route through the area until I-77 replaced it, at a cloverleaf interchange. I-76 then passes through Norton and Barberton, then enters Akron; this section of road was built as US 224.

Soon after entering Akron, I-76 turns north onto the short Kenmore Expressway. US 224 leaves I-76 there and continues east with I-277 toward I-77. Shortly after heading north from the I-277 interchange, I-76 meets I-77 and again turns east, joining southbound I-77 south of downtown Akron on the West Expressway. A partial interchange provides access to SR 59, the Innerbelt, and then I-76 crosses through the Central Interchange, where I-77 goes south (on the South Expressway) and SR 8 begins to the north (on the North Expressway); I-76 switches from the West Expressway to the East Expressway.

The interchange with I-80 west of Youngstown, Ohio

Leaving the Akron area, I-76 again heads through rural areas, crossing Portage County and entering Mahoning County. West of Youngstown, the freeway intersects the Ohio Turnpike and I-80 via a double trumpet interchange. I-76 joins the Ohio Turnpike heading southeast toward Pittsburgh while I-80 exits the Turnpike and continues east toward Youngstown. The Ohio Turnpike carries I-76 until the Pennsylvania border, where I-76 joins the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Pennsylvania[edit]

Pennsylvania Turnpike[edit]

I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) westbound approaching the Pittsburgh interchange, exit 57 (I-376/US 22)

From the Ohio border, the Pennsylvania Turnpike carries I-76 into and across most of Pennsylvania, bypassing Youngstown to the south and Pittsburgh to the north. There is a free interchange with US 19 and I-79 near Wexford. At one point, I-76 used to begin in Pittsburgh on a route that is now signed as I-376, around the 1970s. It intersects with this highway in Monroeville.

I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) westbound past the PA 29 interchange in Charlestown Township

From New Stanton to Breezewood, I-76 is concurrent with I-70. In this section are the bypass (built in the 1960s) of the Laurel Hill Tunnel, then the still-in-use Allegheny Mountain Tunnel in a relatively unpopulated section of South Central Pennsylvania, and then an indirect connection with I-99 in Bedford. The highway also passes through a wind farm in Somerset County[4] and is the closest Interstate Highway to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville.

At Breezewood, I-70 exits the turnpike (making use of a short stretch of the old alignment of the Pennsylvania Turnpike), while I-76 bypasses the Rays Hill and Sideling Hill tunnels along a new alignment built in the 1960s. The major features of this section are more mountains with the Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel and then a double tunnel (Kittatinny/Blue Mountain) prior to Pennsylvania Route 997 (PA 997) near Shippensburg. I-76 intersects I-81 (indirectly) in Carlisle then I-83 and I-283 near Harrisburg, bypassing Harrisburg to the south. The Susquehanna River Bridge is a six-lane bridge that was constructed in 2003 using precast segments that replaced an older bridge across the Susquehanna River.[5] In Morgantown, I-176 provides a connection north to Reading. At Valley Forge, I-76 diverges toward Philadelphia, but the Turnpike (as I-276) bypasses it to the north.

Schuylkill Expressway[edit]

I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) eastbound at I-676/US 30 (Vine Street Expressway) in Center City Philadelphia

At Valley Forge, northwest of Philadelphia, I-76 leaves the Pennsylvania Turnpike to run into Philadelphia on the Schuylkill Expressway (while the Pennsylvania Turnpike continues east as I-276). Immediately after exiting the Turnpike, I-76 interchanges with the US 202 and US 422 freeways near King of Prussia. I-76 later crosses I-476 near Conshohocken and begins running along the southwest shore of the Schuylkill River. I-76 then enters the city/county limits of Philadelphia where interchanges provide access to the Roosevelt Expressway (US 1) and the Vine Street Expressway (I-676); the latter runs through Center City Philadelphia while I-76 bypasses to the south.

After the Grays Ferry Avenue exit near University City, I-76 crosses the Schuylkill Expressway Bridge to go toward the South Philadelphia Sports Complex near Lincoln Financial Field, Wells Fargo Center, and Citizens Bank Park.

The last interchange before the Walt Whitman Bridge over the Delaware River into New Jersey is with I-95. Some of the ramps involve traffic signals, as the ramps to I-95 were retrofitted into an existing interchange when I-95 was built, and the tollbooth for the bridge lies west of the crossing of the two roads.

New Jersey[edit]

I-76 westbound at the interchange with I-676 in Gloucester City, New Jersey

Just after crossing the Delaware River on the Walt Whitman Bridge, I-76 turns south and becomes the North–South Freeway, which carries I-676 north to Downtown Camden; the unsigned Route 76C connector runs east to US 130 and Route 168. The exit numbers in New Jersey are backward, running from east to west. Though signed eastbound toward Atlantic City, the route ends near Gloucester City in western Camden County at an interchange with I-295.

I-76 eastbound in Gloucester City, just west of its terminus at I-295 and Route 42 in Bellmawr, New Jersey

From the exit for I-676 to the end, I-76 originally had local–express lanes in both directions; however, the barriers in both directions have been removed due to rebuilding of the I-295, I-76, and Route 42 interchange. I-76 ends at an interchange with I-295 on the Mount EphraimBellmawr town line. The road becomes Route 42, continuing south on the North–South Freeway and then feeding into the Atlantic City Expressway (ACE) to Atlantic City. While the South Jersey Transportation Authority (which owns the ACE) is not against the idea of making Route 42 (expressway part) and the ACE an eastern extension of I-76, they feel that making the change without a compelling reason would only add to motorists' confusion in southern New Jersey.[6]

View east along Route 76C at I-676 in Camden, New Jersey

History[edit]

The majority of I-76 along the Pennsylvania Turnpike includes the first long-distance rural freeway in the US; the Ohio Turnpike and Schuylkill Expressway are also pre-Interstate freeways. By 1955, the section of that route from west of Youngstown to Center City Philadelphia, was included in the planned Interstate Highway System, as was present I-76 from west of Youngstown to Akron. (Some early plans called for a new freeway along SR 14 to the Pennsylvania state line; it is unclear when the proposed route was shifted to the turnpikes.)

In 1957, the route from Cleveland east to Harrisburg, running roughly along the SR 14 corridor in Ohio and the turnpike in Pennsylvania, was labeled I-80, and the rest of the route from Harrisburg to Philadelphia was assigned I-80S. (I-80N would have run from Harrisburg to New York City.) I-78 was assigned to a route from Norwalk, paralleling SR 18 through Akron to Youngstown and turning south there to end at the planned I-80.

Current and once-planned Interstates near Cleveland; I-80 would have run via Akron, using what is now I-76 east of Akron
I-80S.svg

However, the 1957 numbering was drawn on a map from 1947, which did not include several changes that had been approved, specifically the Keystone Shortway across Pennsylvania. (The route in that corridor ran further north, along US 6, and was numbered I-84.) Thus, the final numbering, approved in 1958, assigned I-80 to the Norwalk–Youngstown route to reach the Keystone Shortway. The former alignment through Cleveland became I-80N; the turnpike was still not assigned a number from near Elyria (where I-80N and I-90 would split from it) to west of Youngstown. The route from west of Youngstown to Philadelphia was assigned I-80S, and extended east to I-295 in New Jersey when auxiliary Interstates were assigned in 1959. (The planned I-80N in Pennsylvania became I-78.) Initial spurs of I-80S were I-180 (now I-176), I-280 (now I-276), I-480 (now I-476) and I-680 (now I-676, though it swapped with I-76 in 1972).

Junction of I-80 and I-76 near Youngstown, Ohio

I-80 was realigned in Ohio by 1962, largely taking over former I-80N, which ran through Cleveland, joining the turnpike southwest of Cleveland. However, while I-80N was planned to split from I-80 near Kent and run northwest to Cleveland along SR 14, the new alignment of I-80 used the turnpike between the crossing west of Youngstown and the crossing with SR 14 at Streetsboro. The former I-80 from near Youngstown west to Akron became part of I-80S, as did a new alignment (already built as US 224) from Akron west to I-71 east of Lodi; the rest of proposed I-80 west to near Norwalk (which would have crossed I-71 near Medina) was removed from the Interstate Highway System. Ca. 1971, I-80 was moved to the Turnpike between Streetsboro and southwest of Cleveland; the old route became I-480.

"To Turnpike 76" sign in Pennsylvania

On April 16, 1963, due in part to the extension of I-79 south from Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania proposed a partial renumbering. A new number, tentatively designated I-76, would run from Downtown Pittsburgh east on what was then I-70 (I-70S bypassed Pittsburgh to the south on what is now I-70) to the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Monroeville, and then east along the remainder of I-80S to I-295. I-80S would remain on the section of turnpikes from west of Youngstown to Monroeville. This was approved February 26, 1964, and included the renumbering of all I-X80 spurs to I-X76.[1]

On June 29, 1970, a renumbering was approved in the Pittsburgh area, with the main effect being rerouting I-79 to bypass Pittsburgh to the west on the former I-279. I-279 was moved to the former I-79 north of downtown, and the former I-79 from downtown southwest to new I-79 became a western extension of I-76. (It was then that I-876 was designated for former I-479.) A realignment and extension of I-76 into Ohio, taking over the rest of I-80S to I-71 east of Lodi, was approved January 11, 1972. The former I-76 from Monroeville west into Downtown Pittsburgh became I-376, and I-279 was extended southwest from downtown along former I-76 to I-79. (I-876 was renumbered to I-579 then.) Signs in Ohio were changed September 1, 1972; the old I-80S signs remained for about a year.

On August 29, 1972, a swap of I-76 and I-676 in Philadelphia and Camden was approved. I-76 had been routed along the Vine Street Expressway and Ben Franklin Bridge (now I-676) through Center City, while I-676 used the Schuylkill Expressway and Walt Whitman Bridge to bypass downtown to the south. The switch was made because of delays in building the Vine Street Expressway, better interchange geometry at the splits, and that the Ben Franklin Bridge ends in city streets, rather than in expressway grade.

The renumbering of a Philadelphia Interstate to I-76 in the years leading up to the Bicentennial Celebration of the 1776 signing in Philadelphia of the Declaration of Independence gives rise to the question of the highway number being an intentional tribute to the Spirit of 1776. US Department of Transportation (USDOT) research into federal documentation of the I-76 renumbering found no evidence of this being intentional.[7]

Exit list[edit]

In Ohio and Pennsylvania, the routes are composed mostly of turnpikes with the exceptions in east-central Ohio and the Delaware Valley. The exit numbers on the turnpike portions in Ohio follow the mileage markers for the Ohio Turnpike.

Ohio[edit]

CountyLocationmikmExitDestinationsNotes
MedinaWestfield Township0.000.00
US 224 west – Lodi
Continuation beyond I-71; west end of US 224 overlap
1 I-71 – Columbus, ClevelandSigned as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) westbound; western terminus; I-71 exits 209A-B
Seville2.323.732 SR 3 – Medina, Seville
Wadsworth7.7212.427 SR 57 – Rittman, Medina
9.7615.719 SR 94 – North Royalton, Wadsworth
11.7118.8511 SR 261 – Norton, Wadsworth
SummitNorton13.3221.4413 SR 21 – Massillon, ClevelandSigned as exits 13A (south) and 13B (north)
14.6523.5814Cleveland–Massillon Road
16.1926.0616Barber Road
Barberton17.5328.2117
State Street to SR 619 (East Avenue, Wooster Road)
Former partial diamond interchange; reconstructed to a full diamond interchange to increase the distance from I-277/Kenmore Leg interchange
17.8328.69 SR 619 (East Avenue, Wooster Road) – BarbertonWestbound entrance via State Street
Akron18.6229.9718

I-277 east / US 224 east – Canton
Westbound exit and eastbound (northbound) entrance; east end of US 224 overlap. I-277 exit 1.
19.0430.6419Battles Avenue, Kenmore Boulevard
20.4532.9120
I-77 north – Cleveland
Eastbound (northbound) exit and northbound entrance; west end of I-77 overlap; exit number not signed westbound
20.7933.4621AEast AvenueWestbound exit closed from January 2022 to December 2023 for reconstruction[8]
21.5934.7521BLakeshore Boulevard, Bowery StreetEastbound exit and entrance
21.7334.9721C
SR 59 east – Downtown
Eastbound signage
21.7735.04

To SR 59 east / Dart Avenue
Westbound signage
22.3936.0322Main Street, Broadway Street – DowntownWas exit 22A before Wolf Ledges/Grant Street exit was removed
22.7936.6822BWolf Ledges, Grant StreetClosed June 14, 2017[9]
23.5737.9323

I-77 south / SR 8 north – Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Cleveland
Westbound and eastbound exit; east end of I-77 overlap; signed as exits 23A (south) and 23B (north)
23.8338.3524AInman Street, Johnston StreetFormer westbound exit only; closed November 7, 2021[8]
24.3439.1724Arlington StreetWestbound signage; was exit 24B before Inman Street/Johnston Street exit was removed
24.7139.77Arlington Street, Kelly AvenueEastbound signage
25.0040.2325A SR 241 (Innovation Way)Signed as exit 25 westbound; signed as exit 25A eastbound
25.6741.3125BBrittain RoadEastbound exit and westbound entrance
26.1142.0226 SR 18 (East Market Street)Former SR 526
Springfield Township27.3544.0227
Gilchrist Road, Canton Road to SR 91
Tallmadge29.0046.6729 SR 532 – Mogadore, Tallmadge
PortageBrimfield Township31.3150.3931 CR 18 (Tallmadge Road)
33.0453.1733 SR 43 – Kent, Hartville
Rootstown Township38.5362.0138
SR 5 east / SR 44 – Ravenna
Signed as exits 38A (south) and 38B (north) eastbound
Edinburg Township43.0769.3143 SR 14 – Alliance, Ravenna
Palmyra Township48.5878.1848 SR 225 – Alliance
MahoningMilton Township54.0486.9754 SR 534 – Lake Milton, Newton Falls
Jackson Township57.2592.1357
To SR 45 / Bailey Road – Warren
59.8596.32219 EB, 218 WB
I-80 east – Youngstown, New York City via Pennsylvania
Westbound entrance and eastbound entrance
CR 18 (Mahoning Avenue)westbound exit and eastbound entrance



I-80 Toll west / Ohio Turnpike west – Cleveland
I-76 west follows exit 218
Overlap with Ohio Turnpike
Springfield Township82.12132.16


I-76 Toll east / Penna Turnpike east – Pittsburgh
Continuation into Pennsylvania
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Pennsylvania[edit]

New Jersey[edit]

The entire route is in Camden County.

Locationmi[10]kmExitDestinationsNotes
Delaware River3.084.96
I-76 west (Schuylkill Expressway) – Philadelphia
Continuation into Pennsylvania
Walt Whitman Bridge (westbound toll in Pennsylvania)
Camden2.303.70354
US 130 north / Route 168 / I-676 – Camden, Gloucester
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; access to US 130 via Route 76C; signed with PA exit number
2.213.562
I-676 north – Camden, Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; southern terminus of I-676
Gloucester City1.15–
0.76
1.85–
1.22
1D
US 130 north – Collingswood
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
1C
US 130 south – Brooklawn, Westville
Mount Ephraim0.130.211B

I-295 north to N.J. Turnpike – Trenton
Exits 26A-27 on I-295
Bellmawr0.000.001A
I-295 south – Delaware Memorial Bridge
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance



Route 42 south to A.C. Expressway east – Atlantic City
Continues south as Route 42
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Was I-76 Numbered to Honor Philadelphia for Independence Day, 1776?". Ask the Rambler. Federal Highway Administration. January 18, 2005. Retrieved June 6, 2007.
  2. ^ Federal Highway Administration (October 31, 2002). "FHWA Route Log and Finder List: Table 1". Retrieved March 28, 2007.
  3. ^ "Pages – I-71&I-76 Interchange Reconstruction". Dot.state.oh.us. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  4. ^ Johnson, Jen (November 29, 2011). "68-turbine wind farm to be constructed in Somerset Co". wjactv.com. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  5. ^ "Pennsylvania Turnpike Plans to Construct New Six Lane Susquehanna River Bridge". Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  6. ^ Pietsch, Gregory (June 10, 2002). "More I-76 and Atlantic City Expressway". misc.transport.road. Retrieved May 12, 2022.[unreliable source]
  7. ^ "Was I-76 Numbered to Honor Philadelphia for Independence Day, 1776?". Retrieved September 17, 2006.
  8. ^ a b "Summit County: Construction update". Ohio Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  9. ^ "Grant St. Bridge Closure in the City of Akron" (PDF). ODOT. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "I-76 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 17, 2020.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata