The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission projects more than 2.2 million motorists will be traveling the Turnpike over the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. This is almost 300,000 more than last year’s traffic tally of 1.9 million during the holiday period. This year’s projections reflect a 15% increase from 2021 traffic, as well as an increase of 3% over pre-pandemic levels for the same period in 2019.
“While our traffic volumes are beginning to mirror, or even exceed, the levels prior to the pandemic, poor driving habits made worse during the pandemic — when drivers saw sparser traffic and wide-open roads — are becoming far more dangerous,” says Mark Compton, PA Turnpike CEO. “With more congested roadways, these increasingly deadly driving behaviors are having even more alarming impacts to lives and families. We must work to change that trend and remind and reeducate drivers that lives are in their hands when they sit behind the wheel. A moment’s distraction can have devastating consequences. Put your phone down, watch your speed and pay attention to what is happening on the roadway.”
The PA Turnpike will have an increased number of patrols and safety teams throughout the roadway that are there to assure travelers get safely to their destination. That means responding to travelers in need of assistance, as well as, taking action against illegal or unsafe behaviors.
“With Memorial Day weekend upon us and a surge in holiday traffic anticipated, we echo the reminder to motorists of the importance of safe driving habits,” says Cpl. Matthew Johnston of PA State Police’s Troop T. “Obeying the posted speed limits, allowing sufficient distance between other vehicles and a general respect for other motorists will ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.”
To help accommodate holiday traffic, maintenance work is being suspended and all available lanes will be open from 3 p.m. Thursday through 11 p.m. Monday.
Travelers who wish to plan ahead should note the traffic breakdown over the four-day period starting Friday which is slated to be heaviest travel day:
- Friday, May 27 – 770,000 vehicles
- Saturday, May 28 – 540,000 vehicles
- Sunday, May 29 – 460,000 vehicles
- Monday, May 30 – 495,000 vehicles
Also, those heading west Sunday afternoon should note the Run for the Wall veteran’s organization is hosting a 300-vehicle motorcade to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. Part of their journey will be on the PA Turnpike that day. The motorcycle motorcade will be stopping Sunday at the Flight 93 National Memorial, Somerset County, and then traveling west from the Somerset Interchange, exit 110, starting at approximately 3:10 p.m. The motorcade is planning a fueling stop at the New Stanton Service Plaza, milepost 77, prior to exiting the Turnpike at the New Stanton Interchange, milepost 75. Traffic could be slower in this area from 3 to 5 p.m.