In response to winter weather and the potential for icy conditions through much of the state tomorrow, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) plan to implement restrictions on trucks and other vehicles on certain roadways around the state. These restrictions will begin at 6:00 PM tomorrow and remain in place until conditions warrant their removal. Additional speed and vehicle restrictions on these and other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions.
Effective at 6:00 PM on Monday, February 15, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 1 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
• Interstate 70 from the West Virginia border to the PA Turnpike;
• Interstate 76 (PA Turnpike mainline) in both directions from the Breezewood interchange (Exit 161) to the Ohio border;
• The entire length of Interstate 79;
• Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to the Ohio border;
• The entire length of Interstate 86;
• The entire length of Interstate 90;
• The entire length of Interstate 279;
• The entire length of Interstate 376; and
• The entire length of Interstate 579.
Under Tier 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:
• Tractors without trailers;
• Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers;
• Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers;
• Enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV;
• Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers;
• Recreational vehicles/motorhomes;
• School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches not carrying chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATD’s); and
Restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website at www.511pa.com and smartphone apps. Motorists can also sign up for alerts on www.511pa.com by clicking on “Personal Alerts” in the left-hand menu.
PennDOT urges motorists to avoid travel during the storm if possible. But if travel is necessary, use caution, reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions. Freezing temperatures are expected during this event, so motorists should be aware of blowing and drifting snow, which can cause icy areas on roadways, including overpasses and bridges. With freezing temperatures, roads that only look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning.
To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to "Know Before You Go" by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the "Check My Route" tool.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at www.PennDOT.gov/safety.
Follow the conversation by using #PAWinter on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and visit the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Campbell, PennDOT, firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-603-1815
Rosanne Placey, PTC, email@example.com or 717-675-4362
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