Nearly 3 Million Vehicles Expected on Pa. Turnpike Over July 4 Holiday
Turnpike travelers are reminded to slow down and stay alert.
Millions of vehicles are expected to be traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike this Independence Day holiday weekend. Traffic projections show approximately 2.9 million vehicles will be on the system from July 1 through July 5. The heaviest travelled day on the Pa. Turnpike is expected to be Friday, July 1 with more than 700,000 vehicles on the roadway followed by Tuesday, July 5 with 600,000 vehicles.
Pa. Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan reminds travelers to be prepared with the right tools to ensure a smoother Turnpike experience this Independence Day. “Holiday traffic is a good reason to take advantage of our award-winning smartphone app called TRIPTalk, available for Android and iPhone users,” Logan says. “TRIPTalk helps travelers steer clear of delays caused by holiday backups or accidents while letting you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.” He also advises motorists headed for the Turnpike to check conditions before they leave by visiting www.paturnpike.com or calling 1-866-976-TRIP (8747).
Due to the increased volume of traffic on the roadway, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is asking motorists to stay alert and be courteous. In preparation for the traffic surge, Turnpike maintenance will suspend its work and keep all available lanes open beginning at 5 a.m. on July 1 through 11 p.m. on July 11 except in case of emergencies. In the event of emergency-lane closures, the Turnpike will activate its Variable Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radio to alert motorists.
“With increased traffic volumes on the Turnpike, we will have additional Turnpike personnel patrolling the roadway and assisting with any emergencies that may occur,” says Pa. Turnpike Chief Executive Officer Mark Compton. “Our men and women are out there working on the roadway to keep it safe for our customers; we urge motorists to keep our workers safe by paying attention and driving safely.”
As holiday traffic increases, so will the patrols by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), which plans to have troopers out enforcing the speed limit, no-texting and seat belt laws.
“We want to remind people to drive carefully, pay attention and do not drink and drive,” states Lt. Edward C. Murphy of PSP Troop T, the unit in charge of Turnpike patrols. “Troopers will be watching for aggressive drivers, anyone driving under the influence and people driving while distracted.”
To promote safe driving during the Independence Day holiday, the Turnpike is sponsoring a "Safety Break" event on July 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza at milepost 172 in Fulton County which serves both eastbound and westbound travelers. Turnpike staff, the State Farm Safety patrol as well as representatives from our emergency responders; Breezewood Volunteer Fire Company, Interstate Emergency Services, Hustontown Area Volunteer Fire Company, Hustontown EMS, Pa. State Police and the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program will be on hand to answer questions.
Turnpike officials remind travelers on the Northeastern Extension (I-476) that a single-lane pattern will be in effect for a three-mile stretch in Luzerne County from mileposts 101 to 104, where the pavement is being completely replaced. Delays and heavy traffic are expected between the Pocono Interchange, Exit 95, and the Wilkes Barre Interchange, Exit 105.
To report an accident or other emergencies on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone. To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:
ON THE PA TURNPIKE
· Variable & Digital Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike
· Highway Advisory Radio — 1640 AM (tune-in near interchanges)
· Turnpike Roadway Information Program (toll-free) — 866-976-TRIP (8747)
· Customer Assistance Center (toll-free) — 800-331-3414 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
ON THE WEB
· TRIPTalk — free, travel-alert smartphone app; download at https://www.paturnpike.com/travel/trip_talk.aspx
· Travel Conditions Map — live, interactive conditions map; view at https://www.paturnpike.com/webmap
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