Carl DeFebo

Manager, Media and Public Relations

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


Carl DeFebo
717-920-7176 (desk
717-645-2265 (mobile)

April 12, 2005



Pa. Turnpike Speed Limit Increases To
65 mph Across Most of the State

Commission aims to post new speed limits by Memorial Day weekend.

HARRISBURG, PA. (April 11, 2005)- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission recently approved a measure to boost the posted speed limit on several sections of the toll road from 55 mph to 65 mph. The change - to take place in May sometime prior to the Memorial Day weekend - will affect precisely 100 miles of highway that is now posted at 55 mph.

"Our intention had always been to get as much of the Turnpike returned to 65 mph where it's safe to do so," Turnpike Commission Chief Executive Officer Joe Brimmeier said. "We are able to do it in Westmoreland and Somerset counties where the road has been reconstructed. We added lanes, straightened curves and made travel safer for everyone."

Brimmeier added that recent changes to Pennsylvania's vehicle code will also enable the Commission to raise the speed limit in its so-called "urbanized areas" - the ones near Pittsburgh and Philadelphia - that are presently posted at 55 mph.

There are three exceptions to the 65 mph rule: Speed limits inside the Turnpike's five tunnels will stay 55 mph, approaching all "main-line" toll plazas - like Gateway, Mid-County and Delaware River Bridge - will still be 55 mph, and a mountainous, 8-mile stretch near the Allegheny Tunnel will continue to be 55 mph.

In addition, a 31-mile-long stretch of Turnpike between the Donegal Interchange (#91) and the Allegheny Tunnel - a corridor renowned for its wintry climate - will feature variable speed-limit signs that can be remotely switched by Pennsylvania State Police from 65 mph to 55 mph in case of heavy traffic or poor weather conditions.

State law-enforcement officials support the Commission's decision to raise the speed limit on 100 miles of toll road because it "provides more consistency for enforcement without jeopardizing customer safety," according to Lt. Diane Stackhouse, of Pennsylvania State Police Troop T. Lt. Stackhouse strongly cautioned any would-be speeders, however, that "strict enforcement of the new speed limits will be observed by our troopers during all Turnpike speed-enforcement operations."

Here is a summary of the Turnpike's speed-limit modifications, from west to east:

  • Milepost 48 to 57 - will increase to 65 mph from Allegheny Valley (exit #48) to Pittsburgh (exit #57);

  • Milepost 75 to 91 - will increase to 65 mph from New Stanton (exit #75) to Donegal (exit #91);

  • Milepost 91 to 122 - will increase to 65 mph from Donegal (exit #91) to the Allegheny Tunnel in Somerset County, except during adverse conditions when it will be lowered to 55 mph;

  • Milepost 122 to 130 - the speed limit will remain posted at 55 mph in both directions along a winding, 8-mile stretch just east of the Allegheny Tunnel in Somerset County;

  • Mileposts 326 to 359 - will increase to 65 mph between Valley Forge (exit #326) and Delaware River Bridge (exit #359) at the New Jersey line.

  • Milepost 20 to 31 on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) - will increase to 65 mph between Mid-County (exit #20) to Lansdale (exit #31), the southernmost piece of the Northeastern Extension.

"The new speed limits will become official as soon as we can order new signs and have them installed in the areas that are going to be impacted by the change," Brimmeier said. "Our objective is to have the new signs in place and unveiled by Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the busy summer travel time across the Turnpike."



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