Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717.920.7176

August 29, 2012
Pa. Turnpike Suspends Most Work to Prepare for Busy Labor Day Weekend

Pa. State Police plans to focus on drunk-driving enforcement over the holiday.
More than 2.1 million vehicles are expected to travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike during the four-day Labor Day weekend. To prepare for the surge in travel, roadway maintenance and construction activities will be suspended from Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. until Sept. 5 at 6 a.m. This will allow all travel lanes to be open to traffic except in the case of emergencies.
Some construction-related activity that does not impact travel lanes may continue behind barriers reducing shoulder widths, but at least two lanes in each direction will remain open.

Turnpike motorists should watch for delays and congestion at interchanges during peak travel times on Friday between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Monday between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Drivers should remain alert and cautious, particularly during those peak periods.
State Police Cpl. Richard Dean, public information officer for Troop T, the unit responsible for patrolling the Pennsylvania Turnpike, said that patrols and enforcement efforts will be increased to ensure holiday-traveler safety. Troop T will especially be on the lookout for drivers under the influence of alcohol.
"Motorists need to understand that alcohol and driving never mix," said Cpl. Dean. "Don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve been drinking." State police urge motorists to be aware of the consequences of driving while impaired.
To promote Labor Day safety, the Turnpike is sponsoring a Safety Break event at the newly reopened Cumberland Valley Service Plaza on Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will focus on aggressive-driving awareness.
"It can be a challenge to get motorists to change behavior when some don't even know they drive aggressively," said the Turnpike's Manager of Customer Safety Joseph L. Rispoli. "If you speed excessively, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic or pass illegally on the right, you're most likely an aggressive driver and need to reevaluate your conduct."
Rispoli says eyewitnesses can report aggressive driving by dialing *11 while traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
After Labor Day, two more Turnpike service plazas will be closed for remodeling. Highspire Service Plaza at milepost 250 eastbound in Dauphin County and South Midway Service Plaza at milepost 147 eastbound in Bedford County will close Sept. 4. Both are scheduled to reopen in May, 2013 with more spacious food courts, more food selections and contemporary restroom facilities.
Labor Day travelers are encouraged to plan ahead before traveling by calling the Turnpike Roadway Information line, 866-976-TRIP (8747) for real-time traffic alerts or visiting the Turnpike's live Travel Conditions Map online at The Turnpike’s smartphone app, TRIP Talk, streams audio advisories to iPhone and Droid users so they can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. To download the free app, visit
Throughout the weekend, Turnpike maintenance crews and safety patrols will 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 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 along the roadway.