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: Lowman S. Henry, (717) 939-9551 Ext. # 2934                         October 6, 1998

Broadcast actualities related to this news
Release can be obtained by calling the Turnpike’s
Information Broadcast Service (TIBS) at 1-800-563-5425.


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission today awarded more than $1.9 million in contracts to fund Phase II construction of its Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS). The two contracts, totaling $1,958,559.76, will enhance ATIS facilities that are currently operating in southeastern Pennsylvania. The system will also be expanded into central and western Pennsylvania. When completed, ATIS will include permanent variable message signs, highway advisory radio transmitters, closed circuit television cameras, weather sensors, a truck rollover alert system, and an over height detection system.

Commissioners awarded a $1,094,127.50 contract to Carr & Duff, Inc. of Huntingdon Valley for the installation of six highway advisory radio (HAR) transmitters, one permanent variable message sign (VMS), and two closed circuit cameras that will be used to monitor traffic conditions at the Valley Forge and Mid-County interchanges in southeastern Pennsylvania.

The HAR transmitters will be located at the Carlisle, Harrisburg West Shore, Morgantown and Philadelphia interchanges on the Turnpike’s mainline. An additional transmitter will be placed at the intersection of the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) and the Blue Route (Route I-476). That transmitter, along with currently existing transmitters at the Valley Forge and Mid-County interchanges, will create a triangular coverage area that will alert motorists on the Turnpike, the Schuylkill Expressway and the Blue Route to traffic conditions on the Turnpike. A transmitter will also be placed at the Pocono Interchange on the Turnpike’s Northeastern Extension.

The contract with Carr & Duff, Inc. also provides for the construction of a permanent variable message sign at milepost 308.7 eastbound near the Peter J. Camiel Service Plaza. The sign will provide motorists with traffic information as they enter the general Philadelphia area.

A second contract in the amount of $864,432.26 was awarded to the Bruce & Merrilees Electric Company of New Castle. That contract provides for the installation of highway advisory radio transmitters at the Cranberry, Pittsburgh, New Stanton, Bedford and Breezewood interchanges. The firm will also install variable message signs at milepost 45.8 eastbound near the Allegheny Valley Interchange, milepost 59.7 westbound near the Pittsburgh Interchange and at milepost 142.9 eastbound near the Bedford Interchange.

"The Turnpike’s new system of highway advisory radio stations and variable message signs provides us with a powerful new tool in communicating traffic, construction and weather-related information to travelers while they are driving on the Turnpike," said Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin.

Currently, the Turnpike has HAR transmitters operating from the Downingtown Interchange, the Valley Forge Service Plaza, from the Mid-County and Willow Grove interchanges on the Turnpike’s mainline, and at the Lansdale Interchange on the Northeastern Extension. Variable message signs currently are operating in the eastbound lane in advance of the Valley Forge Interchange, westbound in advance of the Mid-County Interchange, and southbound on the Northeastern Extension between the Lansdale Interchange and the junction with the Turnpike’s mainline.


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