Extended Holiday Means Higher Traffic Levels on PA Turnpike

‘Tis the season for holiday travel, but with it comes holiday traffic. Since this year the holidays are extended, due to Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Sunday, the PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) forecasts a very busy holiday travel period with 5.4 million traveling the Turnpike beginning on Friday, Dec. 23 and through Monday, Jan. 2.

“Higher levels of traffic, ever-increasing incidence of distracted driving and changing weather conditions are a very harmful mixture that can create holiday havoc,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton.  “We want all travelers to arrive safely at their holiday destinations, and with planning and focus, that can certainly happen.

“We encourage travelers to prepare by finding our real-time traffic and roadway conditions online and allowing plenty of time to get safely to their destination. Also, it’s critical to note that anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the roadway, reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases their crash risk. Put the phone down and pay attention to the road ahead.”

Motorists can check roadway conditions including color-coded winter conditions by visiting www.511PA.com.  511PA also allows motorists to set up personalized travel alerts for specific roadways, days of the week, and times of the day. Choose your region and view an hour-by-hour, color-coded representation of traffic speeds to help decide the best times to travel.

Daily traffic projections for the holiday period are as follows:

Friday, Dec. 23600,000
Saturday, Dec. 24450,000
Sunday, Dec. 25320,000
Monday, Dec. 26530,000
Tuesday, Dec. 27550,000
Wednesday, Dec. 28550,000
Thursday, Dec. 29570,000
Friday, Dec. 30600,000
Saturday, Dec. 31410,000
Sunday, Jan. 1350,000
Monday, Jan. 2450,000

During the holiday week, starting on Friday, all roadway construction work will be suspended, and additional safety and police personnel will be on the roadway to assist customers.