Kathy Liebler

Manager, Public Affairs & Media Relations

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Kathy Liebler, (717) 939-9551 Ext. 2840

August 27, 2002



Harrisburg, PA – With approximately 1.8 million vehicles traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike this Labor Day weekend, Turnpike officials are making preparations to ensure that Turnpike motorists have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Executive Director John T. Durbin said, “We value our customers and will do everything possible to make driving the Turnpike a safe and pleasurable experience. Customer safety always has been, and always will be our top priority.” Durbin urged motorists to do their part by driving with care and caution and observing traffic laws and regulations.

In order to better accommodate travelers, all lanes of the highway will be free of maintenance and construction activity starting Thursday, August 29 at 3 p.m. through Wednesday, September 4 at 6 a.m.  Toll plazas will be fully staffed to handle increased traffic and the use of E-ZPass lanes will expedite traffic entering and exiting the Turnpike.

Durbin said “With the increased traffic over the holiday period, our E-ZPass customers will enjoy the ease and convenience the technology offers, avoiding possible backups at toll lanes.”  He added that additional Pennsylvania State Police officers and Turnpike maintenance personnel will monitor highway traffic, providing assistance to stranded motorists.  “And, most importantly, I want to remind our customers to use their seat belts and make sure their children are placed in properly installed child safety seats and restraints,” he said.

Captain David K. Points of the Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, said, “Rest assured that the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop T is taking several proactive steps over the holiday weekend to ensure that the highway is safe and secure for customers.  We are fully prepared to deal with all emergencies.”

Travelers can prepare for their journeys by having their vehicles thoroughly checked before leaving home for potential problems such as worn hoses and belts. When on the roadway, motorists can prevent accidents caused by drowsiness by stopping at any of the Turnpike’s 21 multi-concept service plazas, open 24-hours a day. If emergencies arise, drivers can contact the Turnpike’s Operations Center by using any of the emergency call boxes placed at one-mile intervals along the entire 530-mile long roadway. 

Michael Flack, Turnpike assistant chief engineer-construction, advised customers that call boxes are not in service in areas where the Turnpike is being totally rebuilt.   Those areas include mileposts 76 to 85 from New Stanton to Donegal, mileposts 90 to 94, east of Donegal, and mileposts 109 to 122 from Somerset to Bedford. 

Customers with cellular phones can also call for assistance by dialing Star 1-1 (*11) or 800-332-3880.  Should delays occur, updated traffic advisories are available on the Turnpike’s Highway Advisory Radio at 1640 AM and emergency messages will be posted on the ‘Pike’s Variable Message Signs stationed along the highway.

Permitted over-dimensional vehicles, over 10 feet in width, 85 feet in length, 13 ½ feet in height, and 100,000 pounds will not be allowed on the Turnpike from sundown Thursday, August 29, to sunrise Wednesday, September 4.


Become an E-ZPass Customer today!    For Information and Application: www.paturnpike.com or call toll-free 1 877-736-6727.


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