PennDOT places travel restrictions on I-80 in Clarion and Jefferson Counties

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is advising motorists there is currently a commercial vehicle and 45 mph speed restriction on I-80 in Clarion and Jefferson Counties.

PennDOT is temporarily reducing the speed limit and restricting Commercial Vehicles to the right lane only on I-80 East and Westbound from Exit 45:  PA 478 – St. Petersburg/Emlenton to Exit 161:  US 220 South/PA 26 – Bellefonte.

PennDOT crews have been treating roadways, with the primary goal to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will continue to treat roadways until precipitation stops and roads are clear.

Restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website and smartphone apps. Motorists can also sign up for personalized alerts on the website.

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. Follow local PennDOT information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAPittsburgh.

When winter weather occurs, drivers should extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:

  • Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
  • Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
  • When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
  • Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
  • Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
  • Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.

For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at www.PennDOT.pa.gov/safety.

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