PennDOT Urges Motorists to Exercise Caution in Coming Winter Weather Event

Ahead of snowy conditions and cold temperatures across most of the state tonight and tomorrow, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm. Additionally, the agencies will implement various speed and vehicle restrictions throughout the storm.

PennDOT and PTC crews are actively pre-treating roadways where necessary ahead of the storm to help prevent ice from forming a bond with the pavement during the early stages of a storm. However, salt is not a silver bullet, and drivers may encounter icy spots on the roadway. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning.

Restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website and smartphone apps. Motorists can also sign up for personalized alerts on the website.

Tier 1 vehicle restriction will go into place at 6:00 AM on Wednesday, January 25, in accordance with the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:

  • Interstate 80 from I-79 to I-180;
  • I-76 (PA Turnpike) from New Stanton to Breezewood; and
  • The entire length of I-99.

Tier 1 vehicle restriction will go into place at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, January 25 in accordance with the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:

  • I-80 from I-180 to the New Jersey border;
  • I-81 from I-78 to the New York border;
  • I-84, entire length;
  • I-380, entire length; and
  • I-476 (PA Turnpike Northeast Extension) from I-78 to I-81 Clarks Summit.

Under Tier 1 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 unloaded or lightly loaded cargo delivery trucks/box 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; and 
  • motorcycles. 

PennDOT and PTC urge motorists to avoid travel if possible. If travel is necessary, use caution, reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions.