Commercial vehicle ban lifted on some interstates and roadways

Following Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration yesterday and plans announced in anticipation of a statewide storm featuring varying degrees of heavy snow, high winds, sleet and freezing rain, a commercial vehicle ban is now in effect through noon Sunday on most interstates and most of the Turnpike.

The commercial ban went into effect at noon and includes all commercial traffic, including buses, though tow truck operators may perform their operations for motorists. Due to a reduction in anticipated storm severity in the southeast and south-central regions, the ban is in effect on all interstates except Interstate 95, I-676, I-476, I-76, and I-276 in southeastern Pennsylvania. The ban is also in effect on the U.S. 22 expressway in the Lehigh Valley and the Pennsylvania Route 33 expressway in Northampton and Monroe counties. See a map of restricted roadways applicable until 2:30 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m., the ban will be lifted from I-83, I-81 south of I-83, I-283, I-176, and the Turnpike from the New Jersey state line to the Carlisle exit. The ban on I-180 will not lift at 2:30 p.m. as previously announced.

A 45-mph speed restriction is in place on I-80 from the Ohio State line to I-99, as well as I-376 in Mercer and Lawrence counties. Additional speed restrictions on interstates and expressways may be implemented as the storm progresses.

“We are monitoring the situation and forecast closely and are balancing safety and operations with the impact to travel across the state,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “We will make decisions throughout the storm with safety as our top priority, but we will also adjust plans if conditions allow.”

The Pennsylvania Department Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Pennsylvanian Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Pennsylvania State Police are in continued collaboration at the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center and with teams across the state.

Anticipating the storm’s severity, Amtrak has cancelled the cross-state Pennsylvanian passenger train for Sunday and has cancelled six trains Sunday on the Keystone Line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

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 860 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.

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