PennDOT announces travel restrictions ahead of anticipated winter storm

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Motorists are being asked to limit travel this weekend in anticipation of an upcoming winter storm, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials. Travel restrictions are set to take place at noon on Sunday, PennDOT officials said. Trucks and other vehicles are not permitted on several roadways. Once conditions improve, […]

Motorists are being asked to limit travel this weekend in anticipation of an upcoming winter storm, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials.

Travel restrictions are set to take place at noon on Sunday, PennDOT officials said. Trucks and other vehicles are not permitted on several roadways. Once conditions improve, the restrictions will be lifted.

The following roadways are included in the initial restrictions:

  • Interstate 70 in both directions from the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) to the Maryland state line;
  • The entire length of Interstate 78 in both directions;
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 81 to the New Jersey state line;
  • The entire length of Interstate 81 in both directions;
  • The entire length of Interstate 83 in both directions;
  • The entire length of Interstate 84 in both directions; and
  • The entire length of Interstate 380 in both directions.

Additional speed and vehicle restrictions on these and other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions.

Under current 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 unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers;
  • 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 not carrying chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATD’s); and
  • Motorcycles.

Drivers can check 511PA app on their smartphone or www.511pa.com for real-time traveler information, PennDOT officials said. If travel is necessary, drivers to urged to use caution, reduce speeds, and be aware of changing weather conditions.

The forecast is calling for high winds and freezing temperatures, which could lead to “blowing and drifting snow” creating icy roadways. Roads that look wet could actually be icy. Extra caution is advised when approaching bridges and highway ramps.

Drivers should prepare or restock their emergency kits with items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, a cell phone charger, and a small snow shovel. Motorists should adjust their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication, and pet supplies, PennDOT officials said.

When winter weather occurs, drivers should extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:

  • Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
  • Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
  • When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
  • Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
  • Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
  • Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.

Read more from PennLive

Frozen pipes: Tips on how to prevent them and what to do when they freeze

Winter storm could dump up to 1 foot of snow in Central Pa. Updates on timing, forecast maps

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