EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 10, 2013

I-93 traffic pattern to radically change at Exit 2

Temporary on-ramp opens tomorrow at Exit 2 south

SALEM — It will be enough to make your head spin — just watch where you’re going.

Some travelers heading out of town tomorrow for the long holiday weekend may find themselves doing a double take near Exit 2 on Interstate 93.

That’s because the traffic pattern will radically change as part of the I-93 widening project.

A temporary southbound on-ramp is scheduled to open tomorrow afternoon at the Exit 2 interchange with Pelham Road and I-93, according to Jay Levine, I-93 corridor supervisor with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

That means motorists traveling east on Pelham Road must stay in the right lane before taking the on-ramp, Levine said. Drivers traveling west must stay in the left lane.

This may not sound confusing to those who don’t travel in that area.

But for those who do, the traffic pattern is the opposite of what they are accustomed to, Levine said.

“I think there’s going to be learning curve,” he said yesterday.

There will road signs and message boards directing motorists to stay or right, he said.

The change could be delayed until next week if the weather doesn’t cooperate tomorrow, but there’s no rain in the forecast, Levine said.

DOT workers must stripe the road that morning before the on-ramp opens at about 1 or 2 p.m., he said.

Anyone who has recently traveled through the busy construction zone probably noticed the new on-ramp as they passed.

The ramp is now blocked off with orange barrels and cones. Red-and-white “Do not enter” signs are posted at the entrance.

“By opening this ramp up, we are trying to convert into a diamond interchange,” Levine said.

It was previously a cloverleaf, Levine said.

It will be easier to merge onto the highway, he said. What is now two lanes will become three in about three weeks.

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