PennDOT imposes vehicle restrictions on I-80 and I-79

Due to the severity of the winter storm, PennDOT is temporarily imposing travel restrictions on  Interstate 79 and Interstate 80.

Currently there is a vehicle restriction on I-79 Northbound and Southbound from the West Virginia state line to Erie.  The restriction includes empty tandem trailers, empty trailer trucks, motorcycles, permitted loads, rv/campers, vehicles with tow behind trailers, tractors without trailers, school buses, commercial buses and motor coaches.

There is also a 45 mile per hour speed limit restriction on I-79 from WASHINGTON Exit: SOUTHPOINTE/ HENDERSONVILLE {# 48 } to BUTLER  Exit:  PA 228 – CRANBERRY/MARS  { # 78 }.  Commercial Vehicles are restricted to the right lane only.

On I-80 Eastbound and Westbound between the Ohio State Line to Exit: US 15 NORTH – WILLIAMSPORT  { # 210B } the vehicle restriction includes:  all commercial vehicles without chains or alternative traction device (ATD) onboard, empty tandem trailers, empty trailer trucks, motorcycles, permitted loads, rv/campers, straight trailer, tandem trailers, vehicles with tow behind trailers, tractors without trailers, school buses, commercial buses and motor coaches.

The purpose of the restrictions is to help ensure the interstates remain open during the most challenging conditions of the winter storm. When conditions improve, PennDOT will remove the travel restrictions.

Although PennDOT crews have been treating roadways, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.

While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check 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.

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.

The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.

PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into account special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.

PennDOT also reminds citizens that downloadable materials, including home and car emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available at www.Ready.PA.gov or by downloading the free ReadyPA app for Apple or Android devices. Citizens can also find information about getting involved in local emergency response efforts and other volunteer opportunities through the ReadyPA website.

For more winter driving tips and information on how PennDOT treats winter storms, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter.

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