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PennDOT adjusts, adds to planned roadway restrictions

Harrisburg, PA – In anticipation of winter weather beginning later today, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are adjusting planned vehicle restrictions that were announced Saturday. Italicized information indicates a change from the January 14 announcement. Additional speed and vehicle restrictions on these and other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions.

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.

Effective at 3:00 PM Sunday, January 16, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 2 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan (PDF):

  • All interstates south of Interstate 80, not including Interstate 80;
  • PA Turnpike I-76 (Mainline) from the Ohio border to Cranberry (Exit 28), and then from the Breezewood (Exit 161) to the New Jersey border, including all western extensions;
  • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-276 to I-80;
  • U.S. 22 from I-78 to the New Jersey border;
  • Route 33 from I-78 to I-80.

Effective at 3:00 PM Sunday, January 16, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 3 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan (PDF):

  • PA Turnpike I-76 from Cranberry (Exit 28) to Breezewood (Exit 161)

Effective at 5:00 PM Sunday, January 16, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 2 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan (PDF):

  • All interstates north of I-80; and
  • I-80 from I-99 to the New Jersey border.

Effective at 5:00 PM Sunday, January 16, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 3 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan (PDF):

  • I-70 east of I-79; and
  • I-79 north of I-80;
  • I-80 from the Ohio border to I-99;
  • The entire length of I-86;
  • The entire length of I-90; and
  • I-99.

Effective at 7:00 PM Sunday, January 16, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 2 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan (PDF):

  • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-80 to Clarks Summit.

Effective at 11:00 PM Sunday, January 16, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roadways at Tier 3 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan (PDF):

  • I-81 north of I-84;
  • I-84; and
  • I-380.

Under Tier 2 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 loaded tandem trailers unless there are chains or another approved Alternate Traction Device on board;
  • 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; and
  • motorcycles.

On roadways with Tier 3 restrictions in place, no commercial vehicles are permitted EXCEPT loaded single trailers with chains or approved Alternate Traction Devices. Additionally, all school buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers are not permitted on affected roadways while restrictions are in place.

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.

Follow the conversation by using #PAWinter on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.