News Release

    August 30, 2017


PA Turnpike expects 3.5 million motorists to travel roadway during Labor Day holiday and weekend
Changes in call-box service will begin after the holiday


HARRISBURG, PA (Aug. 30, 2017) —The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) today projected 3.5 million motorists will travel the Turnpike during the six-day travel period beginning Thursday, Aug. 31 and ending Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“The summer travel season closes out this weekend and traffic is expected to be heavy as motorists take advantage of final summer getaways,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “We have planned accordingly so motorists will not be detained by any scheduled maintenance or construction projects. All lanes are slated to be open and additional safety, maintenance and PA State Police patrols will be on our roadway to address additionally traffic needs.”

Beginning 5 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 until 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5 all lanes in each direction of the Turnpike will be open and available to accommodate heavier traffic volumes. All scheduled maintenance and construction projects will be suspended during these times.

Sept. 1 is slated to be the most heavily travelled day with approximately 750,000 vehicles on the Turnpike -- followed by Aug. 31 with approximately 670,000 vehicles.

Motorists should also be aware that after the holiday weekend, the PA Turnpike will begin decommissioning and removing call boxes that are installed intermittently along the roadway.

“We have approximately 1,000 call boxes that, prior to cell phones, safety patrols and road cameras, were used by motorists who had broken down along the roadway and may need some type of assistance,” explains PA Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey.  “Our review and analysis shows that use of those boxes has declined to the point that each box may only be used once a year, while maintenance of the call boxes costs $250,000 a year. More importantly, it is much safer for motorists to stay in their car and report any incidents from their own phone.” 

The PTC now uses the following to keep fully apprised of the safety of motorists: 

  • *11’ and ‘911’ cell phone calls by passers-by
  • Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV)
  • Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Troop T
  • Turnpike Safety Service Patrol (MUW’s)

To help keep motorists safe this holiday weekend, the PA Turnpike will be conducting Safety Breaks at the following service plazas:

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Bowmansville Service Plaza, Lancaster County
  • 3 to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1 at the Sidling Hill Service Plaza, Fulton County

To report an accident or other emergencies on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone. For more information about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:


·        Variable & Digital Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike

·        Highway Advisory Radio — 1640 AM (tune-in near interchanges)


·        Turnpike Roadway Information Program (toll-free) — 866-976-TRIP (8747)

·        Customer Assistance Center (toll-free) — 800-331-3414 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)


·        TRIPTalk — free, travel-alert smartphone app; download at

·        Travel Conditions Map — live, interactive conditions map; view at

·        Waze  — a crowd-sourced navigation app that provides real-time traffic conditions with input from other drivers; download at


Rosanne Placey
Phone: 717.831.7507

Carl FeFebo
Phone: 717.831.7176