PA Turnpike advises motorists of possible delays at the Tuscarora Tunnel
Weekly closures of the eastbound tunnel to continue throughout the summer.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is advising motorists traveling in both directions on I-76 to be prepared for possible delays as the eastbound tube of the Tuscarora Tunnel, located at the Franklin and Huntingdon county line at milepost 186, continues to be closed weekly for renovations.
The weekly eastbound tunnel closures will be as follows:
July 11 starting at 11 p.m. through July 15 ending at noon.
July 18 throughout August, the closures will start Sundays at 9 p.m. and end Thursdays at noon.
Eastbound traffic will be directed into one lane and then cross over to continue through one lane of the westbound tunnel. Motorists in both directions should stay alert for a continuous single-lane, traffic pattern approaching the tunnel and bi-directional traffic within the tunnel. Additionally, no over-width commercial vehicles will be allowed inside the tunnel while these bi-directional traffic patterns are in effect.
Motorists should be prepared for slow moving or stopped traffic approaching the Tuscarora Tunnel in both directions. Backlogs are expected daily in both directions beginning around mid-day and lasting into the evening hours.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has installed a smart work zone as part of this project which monitors current traffic conditions and displays travel times and slow or stopped traffic messages on Portable Changeable Message signs placed in advance of the tunnel in both directions. Motorists should pay attention to the advance messages on the Portable Changeable Message signs for real time travel conditions.
Drivers are advised to turn on headlights, slow down to the posted work zone speed limit of 40 mph and keep an adequate distance from the vehicle ahead and never pass inside the tunnel. Customers who experience car trouble and cannot safely exit the tunnel should stay in the car, put on the hazard lights, dial *11 from their cellular phone and wait for assistance. Tunnel personnel will monitor closed-circuit cameras and send help for disabled vehicles.
Prior to hitting the road, motorists should visit www.511pa.com/tuscarora to view travel alerts and current travel times for the project.
The tunnel restrictions are necessary as part of a four-year, $110 million project to improve and modernize the Tuscarora Tunnel. The major tasks to be completed include the removal of ceiling slabs, a new ventilation system, new membrane waterproofing, and the replacement of walkways, concrete barriers and the drainage system in the tunnels. Some enhancements have already been completed in the westbound tunnel which include additional lighting and overhead lane control signs.
The Tuscarora Tunnel eastbound tube opened in 1940 and the westbound tube opened in 1968. The two tunnels were last renovated in the 1980s. For more information about the Tuscarora Tunnel Rehabilitation Project visit www.PATurnpiketunnels.com.
To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via mobile phone. To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions, use one of these resources:
ON THE TURNPIKE
- 511PA Smartphone App: real-time, hands-free PA traffic advisories
- Digital Message Signs: more than 100 boards along the Turnpike
ON THE WEB
- Turnpike Travel Conditions Map: live, interactive map
- 511: dial from any PA roadway for local travel information
- Pennsylvania Turnpike Customer Assistance Center: 1-800-331-3414, Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. (Outside U.S., please call 717-831-7601)
Renee Vid Colborn , Phone: 724-755-5260