Media & Public Relations

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Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

August 30, 2007


Pa. Turnpike Prepares for Busy Holiday Weekend

Most road work suspended, but some congestion anticipated.

HARRISBURG, PA (08/30/2007; 1610)(readMedia)-- Pennsylvania Turnpike officials expect more than 2 million vehicles will take to the toll road for the heavily traveled Labor Day weekend. For that reason, most Turnpike construction and maintenance activities will be suspended so the maximum number of lanes can be open to traffic. Road-work restrictions start today at 3 p.m. and will be effective through Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 6 a.m.

Work that does not impact travel lanes will continue behind protective barriers in some areas, reducing shoulder widths. Drivers should remain alert and cautious in these areas. Due to ongoing construction, Turnpike motorists can expect sporadic delays at two interchanges, one in the east and one in the west. On- and off-ramp restrictions at Valley Forge Interchange (#326) and New Stanton Interchange (#75) could cause congestion to build for entering, exiting and through traffic — especially on Friday and Monday between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Extra State Police patrols will be on duty throughout the long weekend to make sure motorists — both private and professional — are being safe and sensible about driving,” said Pa. State Police Cpl. Richard Dean. “Troopers will be looking for aggressive drivers and speeders, and we’ll be putting special emphasis on enforcing truck compliance through our Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, or MCSAP.”

Cpl. Dean said that Troop T, the Pennsylvania State Police unit responsible for Turnpike enforcement, will have increased truck details on the road this weekend conducting random safety and compliance inspections of commercial vehicles.

Turnpike maintenance crews and safety patrols will also monitor the highway, ready to assist travelers in case of an accident or breakdown. Those who witness an accident or need assistance should use emergency call boxes located at one-mile intervals along the roadway. Motorists with cell phones can reach the Turnpike’s operations center — for emergencies only — by dialing *-11 or 1-800-332-3880.

The Turnpike encourages travelers this weekend to “be in the know before you go.” Thanks to the new Pennsylvania Turnpike Roadway Information Program — or TRIP — motorists can access real-time information about conditions by visiting or calling 1-866-976-TRIP. Turnpike travelers can hear about delays caused by construction, accidents or bad weather before they depart — or even be alerted via mobile phone while en route.

The Turnpike also reminds travelers that three service plazas will temporarily close after Labor Day on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 6 a.m. The three are being demolished and entirely rebuilt, with a scheduled reopening before Memorial Day 2008. They are: Allentown Service Plaza (northbound and southbound access) at milepost 56 on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) in Lehigh County; North Somerset Service Plaza (westbound access) at milepost 112 on the Turnpike mainline (I-70/76) in Somerset County; and the Sideling Hill Service Plaza (eastbound and westbound access) at milepost 172 on the Turnpike mainline (I-76) in Fulton County.