Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: (717) 920-7176

Bill Capone
Phone: (717) 939-9551 ext.3040
September 1, 2009
Pa. Turnpike Suspends Work, Staffs Up to Get Ready for Labor Day Weekend

More end-of-summer Turnpike travelers anticipated this year, state police urge safe driving.
HARRISBURG, PA (09/01/2009)(readMedia)-- Pennsylvania Turnpike officials expect more than 2.1 million vehicles will travel on the state's toll roads during the Labor Day weekend - a slight increase over last year's count. Accordingly, Turnpike construction and maintenance activities will be suspended to maximize the number of available travel lanes. Road-work restrictions start Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. and will be effective through Sept. 9 at 6 a.m.

Construction activity that does not impact Turnpike travel lanes may continue behind protective barriers in some areas, thereby reducing shoulder widths. But at least two lanes in each direction will be open except possibly during an emergency.

Turnpike motorists should be prepared for possible delays and congestion at interchanges during peak travel times on Friday between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Monday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Drivers should remain alert and cautious, particularly during peak periods.

State Police Cpl. Richard Dean, public information officer for Troop T, the unit responsible for patrolling the Pennsylvania Turnpike, said that enforcement efforts will be increased to ensure the safety of all travelers.

"State Police patrols will be on duty throughout the weekend to make sure Turnpike motorists stay safe, buckle up, and slow down," said Cpl. Dean. "We are going to be targeting aggressive drivers and focusing on strict enforcement of the state's DUI laws."

Turnpike maintenance crews and safety patrols will also monitor the highway, ready to assist travelers in case of an accident or breakdown. To report an accident or incident, Turnpike customers should call the Turnpike traffic-operations center directly by dialing *-11 (or 1-800-332-3880) on a mobile phone or activating one of the yellow emergency call boxes located along the roadway.

Labor Day travelers are encouraged to plan ahead before getting onto the Turnpike by calling the Turnpike Roadway Information line, 866-976-TRIP (8747) to hear real-time Turnpike traffic alerts. Or, refer to the Turnpike's live Travel Conditions Map online at

To promote Labor Day safety, the Turnpike is sponsoring "Take-a-Break" safety events at its two busiest travel plazas on Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The "Take-a-Break" events will occur at the Allentown Service Plaza on the Northeastern Extension and the Sideling Hill Service Plaza on the east-west mainline. The theme is, "You're never alone on the PA Turnpike." Maintenance crews and equipment and the State Farm Safety Patrols will have apparatus and personnel on site to communicate the importance of safety.

With the recent recovery of a California woman missing for 18 years in the headlines, holiday travelers are encouraged to check out the missing-children posters inside Turnpike rest stops. "Her recovery shows anything is possible and proves that there is hope for every missing child," said April Moore, the Turnpike's missing children's coordinator. "We're all in a hurry to get to where we're going, but please take a moment to look at and remember the photographs of missing children inside Turnpike service plazas. It only takes one observant person to make a huge impact on many lives."

Moore reminded Turnpike travelers to call, toll free, at 1-800-THE-LOST if they believe they may have spotted one of these missing children from the service-plaza posters.