Emergency road work on Route 78 will cause big delays for the Thursday afternoon commute from Pennsylvania and Hunterdon County.

New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Stephen Schapiro said replacement of a bad expansion joint in the eastbound lanes near Exit 26 for Rattlesnake Road in Somerset County is blocking both the left and center lanes. The work was put in place in early in the afternoon and may last into the evening, according to Schapiro.

The bad joint was discovered by a DOT maintenance crew. It holds together the road while absorbing expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes and vibrations.

Drivers can avoid the delay on Route 78 by taking Route 22 instead.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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