News Release

    February 26, 2018


PA Turnpike Working with NTSB Investigators on Lehigh Tunnel Incident


HARRISBURG, PA. (FEB. 26, 2018) — The PA Turnpike Commission announced today that it is cooperating with a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) field investigation of a fatal, Feb. 21 incident in the southbound Lehigh Tunnel on the Turnpike’s Northeastern Extension (Interstate 476). The focus of the field investigation is on the conduits and conduit-support system in the tunnel ceiling.

“We are eager to understand exactly what caused this tragedy so we can work to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark P. Compton. “We will continue to cooperate fully with NTSB personnel throughout their investigation.”

NTSB investigators arrived on-site Feb. 23 and will likely complete the inspection by Feb. 28. NTSB officials expect to release a preliminary report in two to four weeks. A final, more detailed report — which would include probable cause and possible recommendations — may take up to a year.

The southbound tube of the Lehigh Tunnel — which originally opened Nov. 22, 1991 — was temporarily closed on the evening of Feb. 21 during incident cleanup and investigation and reopened in the afternoon of Feb. 22 after needed repairs were made to ensure the tunnel was safe for travel.

CONTACT: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717.831.7176