Pennsylvania – Heavy traffic is predicted for this week as travelers head home for the holidays. If you are traveling by car, the PA Turnpike is projecting that 3.6 million cars and trucks will be traveling the Turnpike.

During the six-day period, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 26 and ending Sunday, Dec. 1., motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and travel on lighter traffic days if possible.

The most heavily traveled days are slated to be Tuesday, Nov. 26 and Wednesday, Nov. 27 with 715,000 and 735,000 vehicles expected, respectively. The periods of heaviest traffic volumes will be during the hours: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27; and noon until 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Thursday, Nov. 28 and Saturday Nov. 30, will be the least traveled days with 520,000 motorists on the road, followed by Friday, Nov. 29 with 545,000 motorists.

Delays and congestion are expected in the following areas during these times:

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26 and Wednesday, Nov. 27 for mainline traffic westbound between Breezewood (exit 161) and New Stanton (exit 75), specifically near the Allegheny Tunnel.

From noon until 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1 for mainline traffic eastbound between New Stanton (exit 75) and Breezewood (exit 161), S.R. 29 to Bensalem (exit 351) and on the Northeastern Extension from Mid-County (exit 20) to Lehigh Valley (exit 56).

Turnpike maintenance crews will suspend work beginning 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26 until 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1. All lanes in each direction of the Turnpike will be open and available to accommodate heavier traffic volumes, except during possible emergencies. Extra maintenance personnel will be patrolling the roadway, along with PA State Police.

This year also marks the first year that rifle season opens on Saturday, Nov. 30 after Thanksgiving. Hunters are not permitted to park along the Turnpike. Heavier traffic may occur due to the change of opening day, specifically affecting Friday, Nov. 29 and Sunday, Dec. 1 traffic volumes and delays.

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Harrisburg, PA – Thanksgiving is almost here! Will you be on the roadways, visiting family or friends?

Drive safely and remember to buckle up, eliminate distractions, and never drive intoxicated or impaired.

With the busy holiday driving period just around the corner, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission came together at the PennDOT Regional Traffic Management Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) in Harrisburg to remind drivers to wear their seat belts, drive sober, and eliminate distractions behind the wheel as they prepare to take to the road for Thanksgiving.

Remember, distracted driving is among the top reasons for crashes and fatalities. At this busy time of year, when there typically are more passengers in vehicles, it’s extremely important to stay focused and pay attention to the roadway.

When you turn your head to check on passengers in your car, your steering wheel often follows. Stop at a safe location to see what might be happening in the back seat. Never text and drive or look at your phone for any reason. Your life and the lives of others will always be worth more than a text.