The southbound cattle chute express lane on the Blue Route between Germantown Pike and I-76 was closed today as three lanes of travel were restored on that side of the highway.

Motorists, however, did experience some delays after rush hour as traffic had to be briefly halted at least twice to remove lane lines needed for the cattle chute.

PennDot now plans to shift one northbound travel lane over to the southbound side of the Blue Route, officially known as I-476, between I-76 and Germantown Pike in mid-January so crews can reconstruct the northbound side of the highway.

In advance of that work, motorists traveling on the Blue Route will encounter late night and early morning lane closures and traffic stoppages next week sor road construction between the Germantown Pike (Exit 20) and I-76 (Exit 16).

PennDot says the the contractor's schedule, which is weather dependent, will be:

- 7 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday: I-476 South will be reduced from three lanes to two from Germantown Pike to the bridge over the Schuylkill River;

- On Sunday and Monday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.: I-476 North will be reduced from three lanes to two between I-76 and Ridge Pike. Periodic northbound traffic stoppages from 12:01 a.m. and 5 a.m. Monday;

- 7 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday: I-476 South will be reduced from three lanes to two from Ridge Pike to the bridge over the Schuylkill River. Periodic southbound traffic stoppages from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday;

- On Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.: I-476 South will be reduced from three lanes to two between Germantown Pike and Ridge Pike. Periodic southbound stoppages from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday;

- 8 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday: I-476 North will be reduced from three lanes to two from Ridge Pike to Germantown Pike. Periodic northbound stoppages from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday;

- 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday: I-476 North will be reduced from three lanes to two from the bridge over the Schuylkill River to Ridge Pike. Periodic northbound stoppages from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday.

In the event of inclement weather, the contractor's schedule will move back accordingly.

PennDot is spending $71.7 million to reconstruct 3.5 miles of I-476 between the Germantown Pike and I-76 interchanges.

For more information on the I-476 improvement project, visit www.476blueroute.com.

Contact the Inquirer Online News Desk at online@phillynews.com or 215-854-2443.