Toll info
Service Plazas
Find Us on Facebook
Pennsylvania Turnpike Chronology

Turnpike Construction Highlights

Route Segment Bill Signed Groundbreaking Opened to Traffic
Original Turnpike 
Carlisle - Irwin
160 miles
$76 million
May 21, 1937 Oct. 27, 1938 Oct. 1, 1940
Philadelphia Extension
Carlisle - Valley Forge
100 miles
$87 million
May 16, 1940 Sept. 28, 1948 Nov. 20, 1950
Western Extension
Irwin - Ohio Line
67 miles
$77.5 million
June 11, 1941 Oct. 24, 1949 Dec. 26, 1951
Delaware River Extension
Valley Forge - Delaware River
33 miles
May 23, 1951 Nov. 20, 1952 Nov.17, 1954
Delaware River Bridge
I
nterchange to Bridge
1.5 miles
May 23, 1951 June 22, 1954 May 23, 1956
Northeastern Extension
East-West Turnpike to Scranton
110 miles
$233 million (includes Delaware River Bridge)
Sept. 27, 1951 March 25, 1954 Nov. 7, 1957
James J. Manderino Highway (Turnpike 43)
6 miles
$55 million
Sept. 1985 June 9, 1988 Oct. 12, 1990
James E. Ross Highway (Turnpike 60)
16.5 miles
$243 million
Sept. 1985 Oct. 20, 1989 Nov. 20, 1992
Mid-County Interchange
$70 million
Sept. 1985 Dec.19, 1989 Dec.15, 1992
Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass (Turnpike 66)
13.2 miles
$282 million
Sept. 1985 Aug. 15, 1990 Dec.9, 1993
Keyser Avenue Interchange
$22.4 million
Sept. 1985   Feb.1, 1995
Mon/Fayette Expressway
Mason-Dixon Link
7.8 miles
$150 million
Sept. 1985 Nov. 1, 1994 March 1, 2000
Mon/Fayette Expressway
PA 51 - I-70
17 miles
$588 million
Sept. 1985   April 12, 2002

 Turnpike Improvement

September 6, 1962
Groundbreaking on Laurel Hill Bypass and boring of second Allegheny Tunnel.
October 30, 1964
Laurel Hill Bypass (3.1 miles) opened, eliminating two-lane, 4,541-foot-long Laurel Hill Tunnel.
March 15, 1965
Second Allegheny Tunnel opened; original tunnel closed for refurbishing.
December 1965
Median barrier installation completed on entire east-west Turnpike.
April 1966
Work begins on second tunnels at Blue, Kittatinny, and Tuscarora Mountains.
August 25, 1966
Original Allegheny Tunnel reopened.
November 26, 1968
Sideling Hill Bypass (13.3 miles) opened, eliminating two, two-lane tunnels: Ray's Hill (3,532 feet) and Sideling Hill (6,782 feet).
November 26, 1968
Second Blue, Kittatinny, and Tuscarora tunnels opened.
August 14, 1969
Median barrier completed on entire Turnpike.
December 2, 1981
Completion of three climbing-lane projects (Allegheny, Indian Creek and Jacobs Creek).
May 20, 1982
Computerization and renovation of toll collection system begins.
September 13, 1983
Last original 1940 toll booth still in service at Blue Mountain Interchange is decommissioned, dismantled, and sent to the Smithsonian Institution. (Another, from Fort Littleton Interchange, has been moved to the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society grounds near Tarentum and is the only one that remains standing assembled, intact and open to the public.)
March 10, 1986
Six-lane widening project begins (junction of Northeastern Extension to Philadelphia Interchange).
July 22, 1987
Computerized toll collection system goes into service.
November 27, 1987
Opening of six-lane section near Philadelphia.
June 9, 1988
Groundbreaking on the Mon/Fayette, six-mile link between US 40 and I-70 (Turnpike 43 - James J. Manderino Highway).
February 14, 1989
Groundbreaking for second Lehigh Tunnel ($37 million) to eliminate the last remaining section of two-lane highway on the Turnpike.
October 20, 1989
Groundbreaking for $20 million Mahoning River Bridge, first part of 16.5-mile, $240 million James E. Ross Highway (Turnpike 60) expansion project.
December 5, 1989
Phase I of installation of call boxes along Turnpike.
December 19, 1989
Groundbreaking for $53 million Mid-County Interchange with I-476 (Blue Route) in Montgomery County.
June 13, 1990
Second Lehigh Tunnel is "holed through" (crews from north and south ends met where last unexcavated section was blasted away).
June 15, 1990
Groundbreaking for first roadway section of James E. Ross Highway (Turnpike 60).
July 4, 1990
Turnpike initiates cellular-phone emergency service.
October 12, 1990
The opening of the first six-mile section of the James J. Manderino Highway (Turnpike 43) linking Interstate 70 and US 40 in Washington County.
July 16, 1991
Opening of Keyser Avenue "Ramp C" located on the Northeastern Extension.
November 8, 1991
First coin drop ramp opened on the James E. Ross Highway (Turnpike 60) at Mt. Jackson.
November 22, 1991
Complete installation of call boxes along the entire Turnpike.
November 22, 1991
Opening of the new Lehigh Tunnel. Construction of a new two-lane tunnel, approximately 94 feet west of and running nearly parallel to the existing Lehigh Tunnel is complete. The new Lehigh Tunnel is 4,380 feet long.
June 30, 1992
South (Turnpike 60) - First main line weigh barrier.
September 2, 1992
Main line weigh barrier at Clarks Summit replaced the Scranton (ticket) Interchange. Wyoming Interchange was removed and the new Wyoming Plaza became northern terminus for ticket system.
November 20, 1992
Opening of the James E. Ross Highway (Turnpike 60). Customers traveling on this section utilize the world's first weigh barrier toll system.
December 15, 1992
Opening of the new Mid-County Interchange.
July 13, 1993
Opening of southern section of Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass (Turnpike 66) in Greensburg.
December 9, 1993
Opening of northern section of Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass (Turnpike 66) in Greensburg.
November 1, 1994
Groundbreaking on the Mon/Fayette Expressway, West Virginia to Uniontown transportation project.
February 1, 1995
Opening of the Keyser Avenue Interchange.
May 26, 1995
Opening of the Allentown and Sideling Hill Farmers' Markets.
June 2, 1995
Groundbreaking on the Mon/Fayette, I-70 to Route 51 Transportation Project.
November 1, 1996
Northeastern Extension Redesignated as I-476. 
March 1, 2000
Opening of the Mon/Fayette Expressway's Mason-Dixon Link (7.8 miles, Pennsylvania side). 
December 2, 2000
Regional implementation of E-ZPass (electronic toll collection) for passenger vehicles only between the Harrisburg West Interchange (#18/242) and the Lehigh Valley Interchange (#33/56). 
May 7, 2001
Four hundred Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission employees move into new $25 million renovated and expanded central administration building in Highspire, PA.
May 11, 2001
Opening of Mon/Fayette Expressway, I-70 North to Coyle Curtin Road (3.4 miles). 
May 19, 2001
Regional implementation of E-ZPass for passenger vehicles only is expanded by six additional interchanges between Carlisle Interchange (#16/226) and the Wyoming Valley Toll Plaza on the Northeastern Extension.
November, 2001
Dual-numbering system installation completed. The Turnpike converted its interchange-numbering system to a "dual-numbering" system incorporating milepost designations along with existing interchange numbers on all roadway signs.
December 15, 2001
System wide implementation of E-ZPass on the ticket system for passenger vehicles. E-ZPass now available from the Delaware River Bridge to the Ohio Turnpike on the east-west mainline and from the Mid-County Interchange to the Wyoming Valley Toll Plaza on the Northeastern Extension.
April 12, 2002
The $588 million, 17-mile Mon/Fayette, I-70 to PA Route 51 Transportation Project opens for traffic.
December 14, 2002
Implementation of E-ZPass on the ticket system for commercial vehicles.

 Turnpike Speed Limit History

October 1, 1940
Turnpike opens to traffic with no speed limit established by law.
April 15, 1941
70 mph for passenger cars; various lower commercial speeds depending on vehicle weight.
December 1941
Wartime restriction of 35 mph imposed on all civilian traffic.
August 1945
Wartime restriction lifted; speeds limits revert to those of April 15, 1941.
July 9, 1951
70 mph for cars, buses, motorcycles. 50 mph for all other traffic.
January 15, 1953
Gateway (Ohio line) to Breezewood:
60 mph for cars, buses 45 mph for trucks. 
May 7, 1956
Breezewood to Valley Forge:
70 mph for cars, buses 50 mph for trucks.  Bridges:
45 mph for all traffic.
July 24, 1966
65 mph for cars, buses, motorcycles. 50 mph for commercial vehicles.
November 1973
55 mph restriction nationwide, enforced on Turnpike beginning December 2, 1973.
July 13, 1995
65 mph for cars, buses, motorcycles and commercial vehicles.  55-mph speed limit signs are posted along urban areas, prior to Turnpike tunnels, main line toll barriers, and 1 mile before construction zones. 40-mph signs are posted throughout construction zone areas.
April 3, 2001
55 mph from milepost 75 to milepost 130 ("55 for 55") for all vehicles.

Contact Us  |  Emergency Numbers/Contact Info  |  Terms & Conditions / Privacy  |  PA Right to Know Law Information Request

Commission Meeting Schedule  |  Fraud & Abuse Tip Box  |  Employment Applications  |  Transportation Links

E-ZPass Customer Service Center - 877.736.6727  |  Turnpike Customer Assistance Center - 800.331.3414

Find us on Facebook

© 2014 The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission  |  Site designed and hosted by Information Logistics