Director of Public Information
C O M M I S S
I O N N
E W S R
E L E A S E
Contact: Kathy Liebler 717-939-9551 Ext. 2850 October 7, 1996
TURNPIKE TARGETS $3.75 MILLION FOR TRAVELER
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced it will spend
$3.75 million as a first step toward implementation of an
Advanced Traveler Information system including the design,
installation and use of Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) and Variable
Message Signs (VMS) across the 506 mile long Turnpike.
"Providing travelers in advance with information about
highway conditions is an important and necessary component of our
customer service program," said Executive Director John Durbin.
"We know that Turnpike motorists traveling both long and short
distances, value and appreciate information about construction,
traffic and weather that is provided quickly and efficiently. We
intend to respond to those needs."
Durbin said that the Commission's objective includes
construction and implementation of 15 Highway Advisory Radio
sites, seven variable message sign sites, two closed circuit
television locations and a travelers information control system.
"This is an ambitious program that will build on the
Turnpike's valued tradition of providing service and safety to
our customers," Durbin said. "It is also the first of many
critical steps that the Commission must take to ready our roadway
for the future and for more comprehensive Intelligent
Durbin explained that the Commission established its goal
and objectives for a Turnpike Intelligent Transportation System
based on a recently completed strategic deployment plan prepared
by engineering firm Frederic R. Harris Inc.
Durbin said that $3 million dollars in newly attained
federal funding from the Federal Highway Administration, plus
$750,000 in Commission matching funds, will be used to pay for
the projects. The time frame for design and construction
includes the awarding of construction contracts within a year and
having the system operational by October 1998.
"I want to thank several members of Pennsylvania's
Congressional delegation for their bi-partisan support in
securing the ITS grant," Durbin said. "Senators Arlen Spector
and Rick Santorum were outstanding in their support of this
effort. Congressmen Tom Foglietta, John Fox, John Murtha and Joe
McDade were also instrumental in securing the funding in the
House of Representatives. I thank them all and look forward to
their continued support as the Turnpike moves toward the
implementation of more advanced information and communication
Although HAR and VMS systems are planned for locations
across the entire Turnpike system, the Commission will place
immediate focus on the Philadelphia area and the Schuylkill River
Bridge where a $40 million bridge widening and rehabilitation
project is scheduled to begin next summer.
Construction for five Highway Advisory Radio sites will
begin next spring at the Downingtown, Valley Forge, Mid County,
Willow Grove and Lansdale interchanges. Variable Message Signs
will be installed on the East-West Mainline in advance of the
Valley Forge and Mid County interchanges and on the Northeastern
Extension in advance of the junction with the mainline. These
systems will be operational prior to the beginning of
construction work on the Schuylkill River Bridge which is
anticipated to begin in June or July.
P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676 Phone: (717) 939-9551 Fax: (717) 986-9649