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Pa. Turnpike expects heaviest traffic volume of the year next week; here are the best times to travel

Posted 11/22/19

The heaviest traffic of the year is predicted for Thanksgiving week on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as travelers head home for the holidays.

The turnpike is projecting that 3.6 million cars and …

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Pa. Turnpike expects heaviest traffic volume of the year next week; here are the best times to travel

Posted

The heaviest traffic of the year is predicted for Thanksgiving week on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as travelers head home for the holidays.

The turnpike is projecting that 3.6 million cars and trucks will be on the road during the six-day period beginning Tuesday, Nov. 26 and ending Sunday, Dec. 1. Motorists are encouraged to travel on lighter traffic days if possible.

According to the turnpike, the most heavily traveled days will be Tuesday, Nov. 26, and Wednesday, Nov. 27, with 715,000 and 735,000 vehicles expected, respectively.

The periods of heaviest traffic volumes will be 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26; 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1.

Thursday, Nov. 28 and Saturday Nov. 30, will be the least traveled days with 520,000 motorists on the road, followed by Friday, Nov. 29, with 545,000 motorists.

Delays and congestion are expected in the following areas during these times:

• From 4 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26, and Wednesday, Nov. 27, for mainline traffic westbound between Breezewood (exit 161) and New Stanton (exit 75), specifically near the Allegheny Tunnel.

• From noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, for mainline traffic eastbound between New Stanton (exit 75) and Breezewood (exit 161), State Route 29 to Bensalem (exit 351) and on the Northeastern Extension from Mid-County (exit 20) to Lehigh Valley (exit 56).

Turnpike maintenance crews will suspend work from 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, until 11 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. All lanes in each direction of the turnpike will be open and available to accommodate heavier traffic volumes, except during possible emergencies. Extra maintenance personnel will patrol the road, along with State Police.

This year also marks the first year that rifle season opens on Saturday, Nov. 30, after Thanksgiving. Hunters are not permitted to park along the turnpike.

Heavier traffic might occur due to the change of opening day, specifically affecting Friday, Nov. 29, and Sunday, Dec. 1, traffic volumes and delays.