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 

November 25, 2002 


Harrisburg, PA – Traditionally, the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend is the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s busiest travel period of the year. Well over two million motorists are expected to use the Turnpike during the holiday and for Turnpike officials, customer safety is the top priority.           

In order to better accommodate travelers, all lanes of the highway will be free of maintenance and construction activity from 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 26 until 8 a.m. Monday, December 2.  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.

 “We are doing everything we can to ensure that each and every Turnpike traveler reaches their destinations safely to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends,” said Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin.  “With the increased traffic over the holiday period, our E-ZPass customers will enjoy the ease and convenience that the technology offers, particularly avoiding backups at toll plazas.”

Over dimensional vehicles will not be allowed on the Turnpike during the holiday period.   No permits will be issued on vehicles exceeding 10-feet wide, 85-feet long, 13 ½-feet high and 100,000 pounds gross vehicle weight from sundown Tuesday, November 26 to sunrise Monday, December 2.

Turnpike officials recommend that before leaving home, motorists should call 1-800-331-3414 or log onto www.paturnpike.com to obtain updates on Turnpike roadway and weather conditions. If inclement weather is in the forecast, Turnpike maintenance crews are prepared to work around the clock to clear the highway of ice and snow. Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, along with the Turnpike’s maintenance crews and safety patrols will monitor the roadway 24-hours a day and will be available to aid stranded motorists. Be aware that Troopers will look for speeders, and drivers who are sleepy or intoxicated.

To stay alert, officials suggest that motorists take a break every two hours at one of the Turnpike’s 21 service plazas where they will find hot coffee, food, clean restrooms, telephones and MAC machines, as well as a variety of travel-related services for their convenience. As always, the ‘Pike’s well-lit service plazas are open 24/7.

When help is needed while on the roadway, motorists should look for yellow emergency call boxes located at one-mile intervals on both sides of the highway. Cell phone users can call for assistance by dialing *11 (star 1-1) or 800-332-3880.

“Above all”, said Points, I want to remind our customers to use their seat belts and make sure that children are seated in properly installed child safety seats and restraints.”


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