|PA Turnpike to Implement Speed Restriction Earlier than Planned Due to Storm’s Severity
|The 45 mph limit now starts at 8:30 tonight and includes other western PA sections.
Due to the increasing severity of the winter storm, the PA Turnpike has decided to put speed restrictions in place beginning at 8:30 p.m. tonight instead of midnight; it has also broadened the scope of the reduced-speed zone to start at the New Stanton Interchange (#75) east to the Delaware River Bridge/New Jersey border. In addition, the 45 mph restriction will also be effective on the entire Mon/Fayette Expressway (PA Turnpike 43) south of Pittsburgh starting at 8:30. The 45 mph speed limit on the Northeastern Extension from Mid County Exit #20 to Lehigh Valley Exit #56 is also scheduled to begin at 8:30.
The PA Turnpike restriction on certain trucks and trailers will still become effective at midnight tonight. As a reminder, those temporary restrictions will be in place on the above-mentioned sections of roadway starting at midnight tonight and will include:
· over-dimensional (height/width/weight) commercial trucks;
· commercial trucks towing multiple trailers (i.e., doubles or twins);
· commercial trucks towing empty trailers; and
· passenger or non-commercial vehicles pulling an RV, utility or any other trailer.
In addition, Turnpike crews have closed the Express E-ZPass lanes at the Mid County Interchange (#20) for northbound traffic on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) only. All northbound E-ZPass motorists must temporarily use the traditional, 5 mph E-ZPass Only lanes to the right of the Express lanes at Mid County. This precaution is necessary in case an incident or closure occurs in the construction area near the Lansdale Interchange (Exit 31).
Turnpike officials urge motorists to travel only if necessary on these sections. Maintenance crews will be actively treating the roadway throughout the storm. During a weather emergency, the objective is to keep roads passable, not totally free of snow or ice. Turnpike crews will continue to treat until precipitation ends and roads are clear.
While driving in bad weather, motorists are advised to follow these vital protocols:
· always travel at a safe speed for conditions, no matter what the posted limit is;
· allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks; and
· never pass a truck that is actively plowing or spreading salt.
Before heading out, motorists should check PA Turnpike conditions at www.paturnpike.com; look at the “Active Travel Advisories” ticker at the top for restrictions. While traveling, motorists can use the Turnpike’s smartphone app, TRIP Talk, available for Android and iPhone users. The app senses your direction of travel and location and plays audio advisories to alert you of stoppages or delays ahead. Travelers can also call the toll-free TRIP line at 866-976-TRIP (8747) for the latest travel and toll information.
In case of an accident, breakdown or other emergency, PA Turnpike motorists should dial *11 on a mobile phone or deploy one of the yellow callboxes on the shoulder. Be prepared to give the milepost location and direction of travel, and move vehicles out of active travel lanes if possible. During a weather emergency, all vehicles abandoned on the PA Turnpike system — shoulders, medians, ramps etc. — will be towed to accommodate snow removal.
To get tweets about roadway conditions, restrictions or closures, follow the PA Turnpike on Twitter at: @PA_Turnpike.