PennDOT reopens more rest area locations closed for COVID-19

Rest Area

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced on Tuesday that they will reopen more of the rest areas they they closed earlier this month due to COVID-19 concerns.

On March 24, PennDOT announced that they would reopen rest area facilities at 10 more locations. These additional reopening mean that 23 of the state’s 30 rest area locations are now open with normal service hours and increased cleaning and maintenance.

“While unnecessary travel is discouraged as we all do our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we understand that some trips are necessary and that access to rest areas is important,” said Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We are constantly evaluating our actions and services in responding to this emergency and will make adjustments where we can safely do so.” 

You can view a list of all 23 reopened PennDOT rest area locations below.

  • Interstate 79 northbound in Allegheny County, 8 miles north of Exit 45;
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Crawford County, 8 miles north of Exit 154;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Crawford County, 3 miles south of Exit 166;
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles north of Exit 105;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles south of Exit 113
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Mercer County, 5 miles south of Exit 141;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Mercer County, 6 miles north of Exit 130;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Centre County, 13 miles east of Exit 133;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Centre County, .5 miles west of Exit 147;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Jefferson County, 1 mile east of Exit 86;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Jefferson County, 10 miles west of Exit 97;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles east of Exit 215;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles west of Exit 224;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Venango County, .5 miles east of Exit 29;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Venango County, 4 miles west of Exit 35; 
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Cumberland County, .5 miles north of Exit 37;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Cumberland County, 5.5 miles south of Exit 44;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Lackawanna County, .5 miles north of Exit 202;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles north of Exit 155;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles south of Exit 159;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Susquehanna County, 4 miles south of Exit 211; 
  • Interstate 84 eastbound in Pike County, 6 miles east of Exit 20; and 
  • Interstate 84 westbound in Pike County, 1 mile west of Exit 26.

PennDOT shuttered all state rest areas on March 17 as a response to n response to Governor Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19. Soon after that, the Pennsylvania Turnpike announced that all Turnpike service plazas are also shutting down bathrooms and fast food locations.

PennDOT says that they will continue to evaluate whether more rest areas can be reopened.

These closures resulted in massive backlash from the trucking community. On March 18, PennDOT agreed to reopen 13 rest area locations. On March 20, all 17 Pennsylvania Turnpike service plazas reopened as well.