Kathy Liebler
                        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: Kay Jenkins Rew (610) 279-1645                                October 24, 1996


        Philadelphia, PA -- Only Mother Nature knows what is in store for Pennsylvania this winter. Given the fact that the state received record snowfall last year, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is ready and waiting for another faceoff with snow, ice and frigid temperatures.
        SUPPLIES ON HAND -- 43,322 tons of rock salt, 67,000 tons of anti-skid material and 82,506 gallons of liquid calcium.
        EQUIPMENT LAYING IN WAIT -- 225 Turnpike dump-trucks outfitted with spreaders and snowplows, 45 front end loaders, five roadway graders and four heavy duty snowblowers.
        MANPOWER -- 775 Turnpike workers trained to provide round- the-clock winter road maintenance.
        Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin commented, "The Turnpike's 22 salt storage domes have been filled to capacity with rock salt. We want to reassure Turnpike motorists that we are prepared for winter storms."
        Because of a particularly harsh '95-'96 season, the Turnpike's winter maintenance budget doubled, jumping from an average of $5.5 million to $10.2 million. Durbin remarked, "Before the blizzard of '96, the 1993-1994 season was the worst on record and we spent $8.4 million."
         When it comes to snow removal, the Turnpike has long adhered to a closed plowing/bare pavement policy. Maintenance crews plow down to the road's surface, keeping accumulation to a minimum. When winter storms reach their peak, as many as 40 snowplow trains work around the clock to keep the 506-mile highway free of ice and snow.
        Turnpike Safety Manager Clarence L. Wright, Jr. recommends that motorists check weather and road conditions by calling the Turnpike's weather line (1-800-331-3414) before leaving home this winter. Wright added that preventative vehicle maintenance and planning ahead can save lives. Drivers are urged to follow several safety guidelines:

*  Check tires or install snow tires or all-season radials on your vehicle. Make sure your spare tire is in good shape and fully inflated.
*  Inspect windshield wiper blades and replace if necessary.
*  Look for cracks and leaks on the vehicle's rubber belts.
*  Battery cables should be free of corrosion. If your battery is sluggish, replace it.
*  Check spark plugs and the ignition system.
*  The proper mix of antifreeze and water (50%/50%) is critical. More than two-thirds antifreeze in the mixture can cause your motor to freeze.
*  Your emergency kits and supplies should include jumper cables, a flashlight, an ice scraper, tools, flares, a first aid kit, small shovel, traction mat, an empty gasoline can, a spare bottle of windshield washer fluid and warm blankets.
*  Before embarking on your journey, give your vehicle sufficient time to warm up and clear all windows and exterior lights of ice and snow.
*  Maintain fuel capacity to a minimum of 1/2 tank at all times.

*  Turn on your headlights and slow down! Never take chances on icy roads.
*   Bridges and ramps freeze before the roadway. Watch for the rectangular yellow and black stripe signs alerting motorists to upcoming bridges and drive with extreme caution.
*  Keep bags of sand in your trunk. Spreading sand around your tires can offer extra traction when stuck in ice and snow.
*  Do not hit the brakes when sliding on ice. Steer the vehicle in the direction you want the car to go. Gently pump the brakes after the vehicle becomes stable.
*  Never attempt to pass a snow plow train. Follow behind while allowing them to clear the way for you.
*  If road conditions become severe or you are blinded by blowing snow, slowly drive to the nearest service plaza and wait until conditions improve.
*  To receive emergency road service, use the Turnpike's emergency call boxes located at one mile intervals along the entire 506-mile roadway. Help can also be obtained by dialing *11 (star 1-1) on your cellular phone. Once emergency notification has been made, raise your hood, place a white cloth on a door handle or antenna, and wait inside your car with your doors locked until help arrives.
*  Before starting the engine to operate the heater, make sure exhaust pipes are free of ice and snow. Lower a window and operate the heater for short periods.
*  While waiting for help to arrive, keep everyone in the car wrapped in coats and blankets to guard against hypothermia (warning signs include excessive weakness, apathy or confusion). If necessary, huddle together to retain warmth.


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649