Eastbound Tuscarora Tunnel Closure Begins This Sunday
HARRISBURG, PA. (Feb. 20, 2020) The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission advises motorists traveling in both directions on Interstate 76 (I-76) to be prepared for an ongoing closure of the eastbound tube of the Tuscarora Tunnel starting Feb. 23 at 9 p.m.
The weekly tunnel closure will begin every Sunday night and continue until noon on Friday. 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 in the tunnel during bi-directional traffic patterns.
By 9 p.m. each Sunday night, the eastbound tunnel will be closed, and all traffic will be diverted into the westbound tunnel until noon on Friday when the patterns are lifted. This weekly schedule will continue until Friday, June 26. Some schedule modifications may occur due to weather and/or during holiday periods.
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.
Impacted motorists should visit www.511pa.com/tuscarora to view travel alerts and current travel times for the project and suggested detour routes.
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.
The Tuscarora Tunnel is located on I-76 between mileposts 186 and 187 which is between the Fort Littleton Interchange (Exit 180) and the Willow Hill Interchange (Exit 189) on the Huntingdon County and Franklin County line. The tunnel crossovers 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, in-pavement lights 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 a mobile phone.
To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:
ON THE PA TURNPIKE
· 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)
ON THE WEB