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Jan. 1 will be one of most congested driving days on Pennsylvania Turnpike

Posted 12/27/17

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission projects that 6 million motorists will travel the turnpike during the holiday period that began Friday, Dec. 22 and concludes with the new year on Jan. …

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Jan. 1 will be one of most congested driving days on Pennsylvania Turnpike

Posted

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission projects that 6 million motorists will travel the turnpike during the holiday period that began Friday, Dec. 22 and concludes with the new year on Jan. 1. 

“Our travel projections would seem to attest that there really is no place like home for the holidays,” said PTC CEO Mark Compton. “Typically, the Christmas through New Year holiday period is among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year with 90 percent of travel occurring by car.”

With the safety of travelers in mind, the turnpike will increase police, safety and maintenance patrols throughout the holiday period. According to Lt. David Devitt of Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, the increased police patrols will focus on moving violations and ensuring that families are getting safely to their destinations. 

“Over the Thanksgiving holiday we responded to numerous incidents that could have been avoided by planning ahead, staying focused and being certain everyone in the car was properly buckled,” said Cpl. Holly Reber-Billings. “At this time of year allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.  Keep your eyes on the road, not your phone, and be mindful that the weather can change quickly across our system.”

The lightest travel days are projected to be Dec. 25 and Dec. 31 with 400,000 vehicles, followed by Dec. 24 with 450,000 vehicles.  Dec. 22 and Jan. 1 will be the most congested days for traveling with 650,000 motorists on the turnpike each day.

Motorists should not be detained by any scheduled maintenance or construction projects. All lanes will be open through 11 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1. Construction projects have been suspended.

On New Year’s Eve, both Sunoco and HMSHost will offer free coffee at all food vendors (except for Starbucks) from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. on Jan. 1

To report an accident or other emergencies on the turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone. If there is an accident, move the car out of travel lane and onto shoulder, if possible, and stay in the vehicle.

Highway Advisory Radio can be found at 1640 AM. The Turnpike Roadway Information Program can be reached toll-free at 866-976-TRIP (8747). The Customer Assistance Center can be reached toll-free at 800-331-3414, weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Also find more information at www.paturnpike.com.