Motorists urged to avoid unnecessary travel in coming storm, vehicle restrictions anticipated
In anticipation of potentially hazardous wintry and icy conditions in much of the state on Thursday and Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to monitor local forecasts and avoid unnecessary travel. Additionally, the agencies anticipate implementing various speed and vehicle restrictions throughout the storm.
Effective at noon on Thursday, February 3, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 1 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
- Interstate 79 from I-80 to Erie;
- I-80 from the Ohio border to I-99;
- I-86, entire length; and
- I-90, entire length.
Effective at 6:00 PM Thursday, February 3, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 1 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
- I-70, entire length;
- I-76 from the Ohio Line to Breezewood (Exit 161)
- I-79, entire length;
- I-80, entire length;
- I-81 from I-80 to the New York border;
- I-84, entire length;
- I-99, entire length;
- I-180, entire length;
- I-279, entire length;
- I-376, entire length;
- I-380, entire length;
- I-579, entire length; and
- All of PA Turnpike 43, 66, 376 and 576.
Effective at midnight on Friday, February 4, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadway at Tier 1 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
- I-476 from Pocono (Exit 95) to Clarks Summit (Exit 131).
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
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.
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.