August 29, 2018 News Release

PA Turnpike Expects 3.5 Million Vehicles for the Labor Day Holiday

Motorists should plan to travel off-peak hours to avoid traffic.

MIDDLETOWN, PA (Aug. 29, 2018) — While many students have already started back to school, families will pack up the car for one last summer road trip this weekend. The PA Turnpike anticipates a projected 3.5 million vehicles to travel the statewide roadway beginning Thursday, Aug. 30 and ending Tuesday, Sept. 4.

“Travelers might think that heading out by noon on Friday will give them a jump on the holiday traffic,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton, “But you may want to consider getting on the road earlier on Friday, or even on Thursday if you can, as it may save you time in the long run.” 

Friday, Aug. 31 will be the most heavily travelled day with approximately 750,000 vehicles on the Turnpike, followed by Thursday, Aug. 30 with approximately 685,000 vehicles. Friday afternoon will be a peak travel time.   

The rest of the breakdown is as follows:

  • Saturday, Sept. 1 with 510,000 vehicles;
  • Sunday, Sept. 2 with 450,000 vehicles;
  • Monday, Sept. 3 with 510,000 vehicles;
  • Tuesday, Sept. 4 with 615,000 vehicles.

To keep traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible, the Turnpike has planned accordingly with increased staffing. Also, construction and maintenance work has been suspended and all available lanes are open in each direction beginning 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30 through 11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3.  

Pennsylvania State Police “Troop T” also will have additional Turnpike patrols on duty during the holiday. Lieutenant David Devitt reminds drivers of the importance of planning regular breaks. “If you find yourself feeling tired, your focus is fading and then you are at a greater risk of being involved in a crash. Plan your trip to build in regular breaks or stop at a safe place to switch drivers. Stay safe behind the wheel by not allowing yourself to become distracted.” 

Motorists are also reminded to “Move Over” or “Steer Clear” when coming upon emergency vehicles including tow trucks stopped to provide assistance on the roadway.  This is required by law to protect those stranded or working so close to traffic. If you cannot move over safely, you should slow down and travel at a safe speed. 

To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via mobile phone. To learn more 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

Carl DeFebo, 717-831-7176
or Rosanne Placey, 717-831-7507