Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717-645-2265

Renee Vid Colborn
Phone: 717-645-3502

May 22, 2015


Pennsylvania Turnpike to Widen Roadway to Six Lanes in York County

Turnpike CEO announces Orange Improvement Zone campaign to inform motorists, public.


HARRISBURG, PA (May 22, 2015) -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) today announced a major improvement project on Interstate 76 between the Susquehanna River Bridge and the Harrisburg West Interchange to completely rebuild and widen the roadway from four lanes to six lanes with a 26-foot center median. The $94 million project will result in a totally new, wider roadway from milepost 242 to milepost 245; roadway construction will get under way after the Memorial Day holiday.

“The Turnpike currently has more than $1.7 billion invested in construction projects under way across the 550-mile system,” said CEO Mark Compton at a media conference today overlooking the project in Fairview Township, York County. “This year, the Pennsylvania Turnpike turns 75 years old, and while we have rebuilt more than 110 miles from the ground up, we need to continue advancing these efforts to ensure our system is ready to meet the demands of today and tomorrow.”

PTC Chief Engineer Brad Heigel said the widening project is expected to be completed by spring 2018; construction and widening activities on the mainline turnpike will be wrapped up by the fall of 2017. To minimize traffic disruptions, two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction at most times during construction. The contract for the construction work was awarded to Trumbull Corp., Pittsburgh; Erdman-Anthony Inc., Mechanicsburg, is handling construction-management services.

At the media conference, Compton also announced the Turnpike’s new “Orange Improvement Zone” campaign — a new, innovative approach to better inform motorists, nearby residents and the public about the progress, the necessity and the long-term benefits of construction improvement projects.

“In the past, we would put up a sign saying ‘Your Toll Dollars at Work’ and hope our customers got the message,” Compton said. “Today, we plan to communicate with motorists and the public through a variety of methods, including social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The goal is to offer regular updates on the construction project and to help the public better understand the reason for the construction and the benefits of the improvements.”

In addition to social media channels, the Orange Improvement Zone campaign will feature a variety of outreach efforts, including billboards, mailings, community engagement, press releases and newspaper and radio ads.

Some of the information offered by the Orange Improvement Zone campaign will include:

  • Updates: Information on the progress in the construction project, any expected delays due to road work or details of the construction phase.
  • Safety: Information and tips on preventing accidents in work zones.
  • Benefits: Information on how the construction will improve driving conditions, commute times and safety.
  • Jobs: Information on the economic impact of the investment in rebuilding the roadways and the effect it will have on businesses that have transportation needs.

Compton said he views the Orange Improvement Zone campaign as another innovative way the PTC is connecting with motorists, neighbors and the public. He said he hopes that future construction projects adopt Orange Improvement Zone outreach efforts. “Importantly, this campaign meets several key objectives of the commission’s strategic plan, including enhanced safety and enhanced communications,” he said.

The PTC recently announced that it has partnered with Waze (, real-time, crowdsourced navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers. The PTC is the first toll-highway operator in the United States to join the Connected Citizens Program, which is designed to promote greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads.

The PTC presently makes traveler information available through various methods of communication. Travelers can get Turnpike alerts by calling 866-976-TRIP (8747) or visiting the 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 eyes on the road. To download the free app, visit

Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Compton said the Turnpike expects to handle more than 2.2 million vehicles from Friday through Monday. He urged motorists to drive safely, obey speed limits and use their headlights in work zones.

“The safety of our employees, construction workers and motorists is our number one priority at the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” Compton said. “More than 30 Turnpike employees over the years have lost their lives while performing their duties. Motorists can prevent these tragedies by slowing down and being alert in work zones.”

For information on the York County project, go to: or follow @orangeimprovement on Twitter, PA Turnpike on Facebook or #orangeimprovement.


The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission operates and maintains 552 miles of toll roads in the state. It oversees 68 fare-collection facilities, 17 service plazas and 27 maintenance facilities. With around 2,000 employees, it generates $862 million in annual toll revenue (fiscal 2014) from nearly 190 million vehicles a year. Known as “America’s First Superhighway,” it opened Oct. 1, 1940. To learn more, visit