Speed limit to be reduced on portions of the PA Turnpike at Midnight
Due to the severity of the incoming winter storm, the PA Turnpike will temporarily lower the speed limit on some parts of its system as a precautionary measure for the safety of all travelers and responders. The speed restrictions are to begin tonight at midnight. Speeds will be reduced to 45 mph on these PA Turnpike sections:
- On the east-west mainline (I-76) from Breezewood Exit #161 to the Delaware River Bridge/New Jersey line; and
- On the Northeastern Extension from Mid County Exit #20 to Lehigh Valley Exit #56.
The PA Turnpike will also restrict certain classes of vehicles from traveling on the above-mentioned sections.
These vehicles will be temporarily banned starting tonight at midnight:
- over-dimensional (height/width/weight) commercial trucks;
- commercial trucks towing multiple trailers (i.e., doubles or twins);
- commercial trucks towing empty trailers; and
- passenger or non-commercial vehicles pulling an RV, utility or any other trailer.
In addition, Turnpike crews will close the Express E-ZPass lanes at the Mid County Interchange (#20) for northbound traffic on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) only. Starting at 7 p.m. today, all northbound E-ZPass motorists must use the traditional, 5 mph E-ZPass Only lanes to the right of the Express lanes at Mid County. This precaution is necessary in case an incident or closure occurs in the construction area near the Lansdale Interchange (Exit 31).
Turnpike officials urge motorists to travel only if necessary on these sections. Maintenance crews will be actively treating the roadway throughout the storm. During a weather emergency, the objective is to keep roads passable, not totally free of snow or ice. Turnpike crews will continue to treat until precipitation ends and roads are clear.
While driving in bad weather, motorists are advised to follow these vital protocols:
- always travel at a safe speed for conditions, no matter what the posted limit is;
- allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks; and
- never pass a truck that is actively plowing or spreading salt.
Before heading out, motorists can check PA Turnpike conditions at www.paturnpike.com; look at the “Current Alerts” ticker at the top for restrictions. While traveling, motorists can use the Turnpike’s smartphone app, TRIP Talk, available for Android and iPhone users. The app senses your direction of travel and location and plays audio advisories to alert you of stoppages or delays ahead. Travelers can also call the toll-free TRIP line at 866-976-TRIP (8747) for the latest travel and toll information.
In case of an accident, breakdown or other emergency, PA Turnpike motorists should dial *11 on a mobile phone or deploy one of the yellow callboxes on the shoulder. Be prepared to give the milepost location and direction of travel, and move vehicles out of active travel lanes if possible. During a weather emergency, all vehicles abandoned on the PA Turnpike system — shoulders, medians, ramps etc. — will be towed to accommodate snow removal.