Pennsylvania to impose truck travel bans for major winter storm

Pennsylvania transportation officials expect to implement several travel restrictions on Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of a winter weather event.

A major snowstorm will reach Pennsylvania on Wednesday morning, bringing with it more than a foot of snow in some areas.

In preparation for the nor’easter, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are asking drivers to avoid any unnecessary travel.

PennDOT and the PTC also plan to begin truck travel restrictions on certain roadways starting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. At that time, Level 1 Vehicle Restrictions will be implemented on the following roadways:

  • All northbound and southbound miles of Route 33
  • Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 78
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to the New Jersey border
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 81
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 83
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 84
  • Interstate 95 from the Delaware border to the New Jersey border
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 283
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 380
  • Interstate 476 from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 676
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 295
  • All eastbound and westbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the Breezewood interchange to the New Jersey border
  • All northbound and southbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension (Interstate 476) from Interstate 76 to the Clark Summit interchange

Vehicles that are not permitted on restricted roadways when Level 1 Vehicle Restrictions are in place include:

  • 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
  • motorcycles.

Additionally, starting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, PennDOT and the PTC plan to begin Level 3 Vehicle Restrictions on certain roadways. Under Level 3 Vehicle Restrictions, no commercial vehicles are permitted EXCEPT loaded single trailers with chains or approved Alternate Traction Devices. Additionally, all school buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes, and passenger vehicles towing trailers are not permitted on restricted roadways.

The 4 p.m. Level 3 Vehicle Restrictions will be put into place on the following roadways:

  • All northbound and southbound miles of Route 33
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 78
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to the New Jersey border
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 81
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 83
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 84
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 283
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 380
  • Interstate 476 from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95
  • All eastbound and westbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the Breezewood interchange to the New Jersey border
  • All northbound and southbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension (Interstate 476) from Interstate 76 to the Clark Summit interchange

Additionally, a 45 m.p.h. speed limit will be put into place on all affected roadways. Any commercial vehicle not impacted by the travel ban must stay in the right lane.

“While overall traffic on the PA Turnpike is down by about 30 percent due to the pandemic, we do know that critical commercial traffic continues during this time even during severe weather,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “If you must travel, before heading out, be sure to download the 511PA Smartphone App for real-time, hands-free PA traffic advisories. Speed restrictions and vehicle bans will be used extensively during this storm and you will want to be fully apprised of any changes.”