Media & Public Relations

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

January 12, 2011
Turnpike Commission Lowers Speed Limit, Restricts Trailers to Right Lane in Parts of Western Pa.

Limitations needed because of safety concerns caused by high winds and drifting snows in the corridor.
HARRISBURG, PA (01/12/2011)(readMedia)-- High winds and drifting snows along the western portions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike are causing challenging travel conditions. As a result, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has implemented a reduced speed limit of 45 mph and restricted tractor-trailer traffic to the right lane only beginning immediately.

The restrictions apply to both eastbound and westbound traffic on the 86-mile stretch of Turnpike from the New Stanton Interchange (Exit # 75) to the Breezewood Interchange (Exit # 161).

The right-lane-only restriction for commercial vehicles is expected to reduce the risk of tractor trailers jack knifing or rolling over due to wind gusts - improving safety not only for commercial drivers but all Turnpike travelers.

The Turnpike's Traffic Operations Center continues to monitor weather across the system. If conditions improve, the restrictions will be lifted at the suitable time. If conditions deteriorate, an overall ban of empty and double tractor-trailers and box trailers Class 5 or above (including all Class 9 or over-dimensional vehicles) and any other type or class of vehicle pulling a trailer could be implemented in the 86-mile corridor later today.

Snowfall continues to be heavy in the corridor, with a Winter Storm Warning in effect through tomorrow morning. The Turnpike's snow-removal teams are actively plowing and salting throughout the region, but heavy snow and high winds are causing drifting across the roadway - especially near Somerset, Pa., where the Turnpike is partially snow covered in many places.

Turnpike travelers can get up-to-date travel information by calling 866.976.TRIP (or 866.976.8747). This toll-free number gives audio advisories for the region in which you are traveling, including delays and closures due to accidents or weather. To check conditions before you hit the road, the Turnpike's Interactive Travel Map at delivers a snapshot of conditions across the entire Turnpike, including live web cams, at-a-glance traffic-flow status, weather conditions, audio advisories and more.