Family car trips are a summer standard. This year, because Independence Day falls mid-week, many travelers are starting well in advance and may be taking longer distance car trips. The PA Turnpike is estimating that 5.8 million vehicles will be on the roadway system beginning Friday, June 29 and concluding Sunday, July 8.
“Traveling during a holiday can be risky for a number of reasons. We want our travelers to have a safe trip and we have planned accordingly,” says Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “We ask that motorists also plan ahead. Be aware that additional traffic may mean more traffic accidents. Pay careful attention and take regular breaks.”
The significant daily traffic breakdown is as follows:
Friday afternoons are likely to be peak travel times. The less travelled days will be July 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 if you wish to plan accordingly.
The PA Turnpike will be conducting safety breaks at high traffic service plazas during this holiday period. Breaks, which are slated to inform and assist motorists, will occur from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza on June 30, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Allentown Service Plaza on July 6. Specially designed chalk art, which features work zone safety images, also will be on display.
Pennsylvania State Police “Troup T” will also have additional patrols on duty during this time. “On average, more people die in motor vehicle crashes on Independence Day than any other day of the year,” says Cpl. Holly Reber-Billings. "There's a high incidence of alcohol use, which sharply raises the risk of crashing. There are more people on the roads, and drivers may be navigating in unfamiliar areas. Pay attention to your surroundings not your cell phone. Texting and driving is dangerous, comes with harsh penalties and can be deadly.”
To help accommodate heavier holiday traffic, the Turnpike will suspend maintenance and construction work and have all available lanes open in each direction beginning 5 a.m. on Friday, June 29 through 11 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, with the exception of the Delaware River Bridge Exit 359, in Bristol Township, Bucks County. The westbound, right lane will be closed from 8 p.m. on Friday, June 29 through 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 1 for planned tolling equipment maintenance.
Motorists are also reminded to “Move Over” or “Steer Clear” when coming upon emergency vehicles including tow trucks stopped to provide assistance on the roadway. This is required by law to protect those stranded or working close to traffic. If you cannot move over safely, you should slow down and travel at a safe speed.
To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via 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
· Waze — a crowd-sourced navigation app that provides real-time traffic conditions with input from other drivers; download at https://www.waze.com
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