Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717.920.7176
February 16, 2011
CORRECTION: Express E-ZPass Lanes on Pa. Turnpike 43 to Remain Closed Through April 18

Extended lane closure required to accommodate ongoing testing of E-ZPass equipment.
HARRISBURG, PA (02/16/2011)(readMedia)-- Information in the second paragraph of news release issued yesterday about the location of the M52 toll plaza was inaccurate. The express lanes are actually located on Pa. Turnpike 43 between Exit 48 and 54, not between Exit 15 and 22 as was originally stated. Sorry for any confusion this caused.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced today that the Express E-ZPass Lanes at the M52 Mainline Toll Plaza on the Mon/Fayette Expressway (Pa. Turnpike 43) near Jefferson Hills, Pa. will remain closed for two more months, reopening by April 18 at the latest. The lane closures are required to accommodate ongoing E-ZPass testing that will help improve the accuracy of vehicle-sensing equipment used to determine tolls.

The express lanes - located between Exit 48 and 54 - allow E-ZPass users to travel at 55 mph though the toll plaza without having to slow to 5 mph as in conventional E-ZPass lanes. The M52 Toll Plaza has one northbound and two southbound express lanes.

To accommodate E-ZPass traffic during the closure, conventional E-ZPass lanes remain open in both directions to the right of the express lanes. One dedicated E-ZPass only lane is in operation both on the northbound and the southbound side, and all other lanes are E-ZPass capable (E-ZPass or cash).

The three express lanes initially closed Oct. 27, 2010 to permit the E-ZPass Group - a consortium representing 24 tolling agencies in 14 states - to test next-generation electronic tolling equipment. The testing, completed last week, helped evaluate hardware and software from vendors competing to provide tags and other equipment to tolling agencies which collectively serve more than 21 million E-ZPass customers nationwide.

Because all required traffic patterns and signs are already in place for the express-lane closure - and because traffic is lighter in the winter than at any other time of year - the commission decided to extend the closure to conduct its own assessments, which involve driving test vehicles through express lanes and making necessary adjustments to sensing devices to improve recognition accuracy.

Last month, approximately 6,300 vehicles a day, on average, used the M52 Toll Plaza, including northbound and southbound traffic. Just over half, 3,231 vehicles, paid electronically with E-ZPass. The $6.5 million express lanes at M52 originally opened June 8, 2010.