CONTACT: Renee Vid Colborn
Phone: 717-831-7501
December 18, 2013
Pennsylvania Turnpike Ready for Holiday Traffic and Weather

Motorists advised to plan ahead and check road conditions before traveling.
As the holiday season swings into full gear, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) wants travelers to know that it is ready to handle the heavy traffic that’s anticipated. More than 3.8 million vehicles are expected to travel the Turnpike from Tuesday, Dec. 24 through Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. The heaviest traffic period will be Christmas Eve through Christmas Day, with an estimated 800,000 vehicles. Turnpike maintenance crews will be fully staffed to confront any wintry weather that may occur.

To keep the highway safe during the holiday, all construction and maintenance work will be suspended to allow full use of the roadway; all lanes will be available beginning at noon on Dec. 20 until 6 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2014. 

"The Pennsylvania Turnpike is prepared to provide the highest level of service and the safest possible roadway during all types of weather," said Chief Executive Officer, Mark Compton.  “Our objective is to keep the roadway clear for travelers if or when a snowstorm hits," Compton added.

During the holiday, State Police Troop T, the division in charge of Turnpike patrols, will also be out patrolling the Turnpike looking for drunk drivers, speeders and aggressive motorists. “In bad weather people need to take extra precautions and keep enough distance between vehicles,” said Commanding Officer of State Police Troop T, Captain Gregory M. Bacher. “Following too closely could result in accidents.”

In addition, the State Farm Safety Patrol - made up of Turnpike vehicles staffed by Turnpike workers - will patrol the roadway to identify and report problems and render aid to disabled motorists.

The Turnpike would also like to advise travelers that the Peter J. Camiel Service Plaza located at milepost 304.8 westbound will close completely on Jan. 6, 2014 for renovations. The plaza is expected to reopen in the spring.

The holiday season is an ideal time to take advantage of the award-winning turnpike smartphone app, called TripTalk, available for Droid and iPhone users. TripTalk provides users with audio alerts about road conditions and any closures on the turnpike, letting them keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while steering clear of delays caused by holiday backups or accidents.

Travelers can also get real-time roadway information by calling 1.866.976.TRIP (866.976.8747) or by checking the turnpike's web page, Holiday travelers are encouraged to check conditions from home before they depart.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season.