HARRISBURG, PA (Dec. 19, 2018) —The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) today projected that 6.3 million vehicles will travel the Turnpike during the holiday period beginning Thursday, Dec. 20 and concluding with the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 1.
“While there may be a white Christmas in parts of Pennsylvania with heavy rain and snow in the forecast for later this week, the weather does not seem to be a deterrent for those heading out for the holidays,” said PTC CEO Mark Compton. “Typically, the Christmas through New Year holiday is among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year, with 90 percent of travel occurring by car. Most of the traffic is expected to be spread out over the holiday week. However, this year many holiday travelers will head out on Thursday, Dec. 20.”
The PTC expects Thursday and Friday of this week to be the most heavily traveled days with 675,000 vehicles on the roadway each day. The lightest travel days are projected to be Dec.29 with about 350,000 vehicles, followed by Dec. 25 and 30 with about 410,000 vehicles each day.
“Just in time for the holiday season, the PA Turnpike has developed a new application to assist in detecting incidents as quickly as possible and help to maintain overall situational awareness across our 552-mile roadway,” explains Compton. “The Early Warning Detection (EWD) tool is an application that monitors the entire roadway and identifies ‘watchpoints’ based on specific criteria. Our Traffic Operations Center staff can use this tool to monitor and look at a section of roadway and know the real-time speed, active Waze alerts and weather within a half mile segment of road. Traffic operations staff can then immediately investigate to determine any needed responses.”
With traveler safety 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,” patrols will focus on moving violations, including aggressive and distracted driving, to ensure motorists arrive safely at their destinations.
“With millions of travelers on the roadway this week and next, many will be driving long distances, under stress, and in hazardous conditions, said Lt. Devitt. “Please allow yourself extra travel time. Keep your eyes on the road and be mindful that the weather can change quickly across the Turnpike.”
The PA Turnpike has planned accordingly for heavy traffic. Motorists should not be detained by any scheduled maintenance or construction projects. All lanes will be open beginning 5 a.m. on Dec. 21 until 11 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 1. Construction projects are suspended during this time.
On New Year’s Eve, HMSHost will offer free coffee at all Turnpike services plaza vendors (except for Starbucks) from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. on Jan. 1
To report an accident or other emergencies on the PA 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. For more information about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:
ON THE PA TURNPIKE
· Dynamic Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike
· Highway Advisory Radio — 1640 AM (tune-in near interchanges)
· Turnpike Roadway Information Program (toll-free) — 866-976-TRIP (8747)
· Customer Assistance Center (toll-free) — 800-331-3414 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
ON THE WEB
· TRIPTalk — free, travel-alert smartphone app; download at https://www.paturnpike.com/travel/trip_talk.aspx
· Travel Conditions Map — live, interactive conditions map; view at https://www.paturnpike.com/webmap
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Stepped-Up Enforcement to Begin Sept. 24; Market & Chestnut Focus of Initial Effort
City officials joined with partners at SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) today to announce a new effort to address Center City congestion. This will kick off starting September 24, with an initial focus on illegal movements along Market and Chestnut Streets that impact Philadelphians riding buses, walking, bicycling and driving.
In recent years, Center City’s growth has contributed to an increase in the number of pedestrians, transit riders, bikers and drivers of all types that share its narrow street grid. Philadelphia has grown by more than 50,000 residents and jobs since 2010, and Center City is now the second most dense downtown in the United States – behind only midtown Manhattan. The resulting traffic congestion impacts the lives of residents throughout the city, costing them valuable time, and limits their ability to reliably access employment opportunities and amenities.
“People need to get to where they are going – to work, to school, to see their loved ones – and not worry about getting stuck in traffic. It’s that simple. That is why the City is joining forces with SEPTA and the PPA to put this project in motion. We don’t need any new legislation, we are just enforcing laws already on the books,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
Congestion contributes to higher operating costs for SEPTA, and impacts service for customers. “Our region is Pennsylvania’s economic engine, and it works because mass transit works,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “Unmanaged traffic compromises our ability to move people through a dense, urban area. This partnership is crucial to ensure that SEPTA can keep the economy moving.”
During this enforcement effort, the PPA will be placing a special emphasis on no stopping and standing violations within vital bus lanes along with other offenses that add to congestion and create public safety issues.
“We are proud to partner with SEPTA, and the City of Philadelphia to deter illegal parking in vital bus lanes,” said PPA Executive Director Scott Petri. “Our goal is not to issue tickets, but rather deter if not stop unsafe behavior and eliminate congestion from our streets.”
The initial focus of this initiative will enhance enforcement of the bus, bike, and right-turn only lanes on Market and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. Chestnut Street will be prioritized for enforcement between 22nd and 10th Streets; Market will be enforced between 7th and 13th. The only acceptable use of the lanes are right turns. All other activity including stopping/standing, loading, or traveling through the intersection is prohibited.
To aid the Market and Chestnut enforcement effort, fresh line striping of bus lanes was completed on both Market and Chestnut streets. SEPTA supervisors have been providing warnings and educational pamphlets to drivers in violation in recent weeks. On September 24 enhanced enforcement will commence.
This a joint initiative of the City of Philadelphia, SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
REGIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION UNDER 49 CFR § 390.23
DELAWARE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, MARYLAND, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA
In accordance with the provisions of 49 CFR § 390.23, the Regional Field Administrators for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Southern and Eastern Service Centers, hereby declare that an emergency exists that warrants issuance of a Regional Emergency Declaration and an exemption from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs ), except as otherwise restricted by this Emergency Declaration. Such emergency is in response to Hurricane Florence, and its anticipated effects on people and property, including the immediate threat to human life or public welfare from high winds, heavy rains, high surf, storm surge and flooding. Affected States and jurisdictions included in this Emergency Declaration are: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. This Emergency Declaration is needed to address anticipated emergency conditions in the Affected States and jurisdictions creating a need for immediate transportation of supplies, equipment and persons, and provides necessary relief.
Red the rest of the declaration HERE.
Critical Infrastructure Partners:
You are invited to attend a Critical Infrastructure Stakeholder Call concerning storms in the Atlantic and Pacific impacting the U.S., hosted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) & FEMA Office of Response and Recovery, Private Sector Division. The teleconference will include an overview of the weather situation, brief updates from the FEMA and NPPD Regions, and will conclude with an open forum for questions and information sharing. The agenda will follow.
Date: Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Time: 3:00 pm EDT
Dial-In #: 1-888-877-0354
The Conference line will open 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the call.
Critical Infrastructure partners are also invited to access the information dashboards via the following links:
Atlantic Dashboard : https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nbeocatlantic
Pacific Dashboard: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nbeocpacific
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center at 202-282-9201 or NICC@hq.dhs.gov.
NICC Watch Operations
Department of Homeland Security
Central Florida Expressway Authority to be first in Florida to accept E-ZPass
The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) and the E-ZPass Group, a network of toll road agencies operating from Maine to North Carolina and west through Illinois, announced today that E-ZPass will be accepted on CFX’s Metro Orlando toll roads starting Sept. 1. In a move to further their commitment to toll interoperability, CFX is the first and only Florida toll agency to join the E-ZPass network bringing the total number of states served by E-ZPass to 17.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission manages nearly 2.3 million E-ZPass accounts with 3.1 million transponders in circulation. Today, 82 percent of all PA Turnpike transactions are paid with E-ZPass.
CFX’s Governing Board approved an agreement with the E-ZPass group in fall 2017 that laid the groundwork for the two agencies to improve the travel experience for E-ZPass customers visiting the Orlando area. With the addition of CFX to the E-ZPass Group, E-ZPass customers can use the transponder they already own on CFX’s 118-mile toll system. Toll roads in Central Florida where E-ZPass is accepted are outlined on the below map.
The more than 35 million E-ZPass users can now drive in Metro Orlando and avoid having to fumble for change at CFX toll gantries. E-ZPass account holders will be billed for CFX tolls through their E-ZPass accounts with no extra fees or charges.
“Our customers wanted portability to the Sunshine State, and now they have it in Metro Orlando, the number-one tourist destination in the U.S.,” said E-ZPass Group Executive Director PJ Wilkins. “There is no pre-registration required since customers are already enrolled. Just don’t forget to take your E-ZPass transponder when planning to travel CFX roads!”
Almost half of Florida’s domestic visitors come from E-ZPass states, with about 50 percent traveling by car. The partnership between CFX and E-ZPass simplifies the travel experience for visitors equipped with an E-ZPass transponder in their vehicle. The launch of the partnership between E-PASS and E-ZPass comes ahead of the peak season when millions of visitors head to Orlando in search of warmth during the cold winter months.
“Orlando is the most visited destination in the United States, so whether traveling here for business or pleasure, we want our visitors to have the same experience that residents enjoy year-round,” said CFX Executive Director Laura Kelley. “The launch of our partnership with E-ZPass makes driving in Orlando a safe, convenient choice for drivers.”
E-ZPass is accepted on tolled roads operated by a network of toll agencies in 17 states and will work as payment on CFX toll roads in Central Florida marked with both E-PASS and E-ZPass logos.
E-ZPass does not capture tolls on roads outside of its network. E-ZPass customers traveling out of network on roads operated by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise under the SunPass brand will be invoiced for tolls via Florida’s Toll-By-Plate program.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) remind motorists traveling the PA Turnpike (I-76) this weekend, both eastbound and westbound in Dauphin and Lebanon counties, that detours will be in effect between Exit 247 (Harrisburg East) and Exit 266 (Lebanon-Lancaster). The closures will occur from 11:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25 to 4:00 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 26.
The weekend detours are needed to safely remove the existing bridge beams and then to install new bridge beams at milepost 251. This work is being done as part of PennDOT’s SR 283 project. With SR 283 divided, the local lanes will have rolling stoppages throughout this timeframe.
Detours are as follows:
Message boards will be activated to alert motorists of any delays. Motorists are advised to check one of these resources to learn about PA Turnpike road conditions and traffic alerts:
· Variable & Digital Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike
· Customer Assistance Center (toll-free) — 800-331-3414 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
· TRIPTalk — free, travel-alert smartphone app; download athttps://www.paturnpike.com/travel/trip_talk.aspx
· Travel Conditions Map — live, interactive conditions map; view athttps://www.paturnpike.com/webmap
· Waze — a crowd-sourced navigation app that provides real-time traffic conditions with input from other drivers; download at https://www.waze.com
Harrisburg, PA – A pavement repair operation to replace concrete pavement on northbound Interstate 81 in the vicinity of the Pennsylvania Welcome Center just north of the Maryland state line will have a major impact on northbound I-81 traffic this weekend, August 24 to 27. The northbound lanes will be closed starting at around 9 PM on Friday night so that construction crews can remove damaged concrete slabs and replace them with new concrete and resurface with a blacktop overlay. The northbound lanes should reopen by 6 AM on Monday, August 27, if not sooner. This portion of I-81 is located in Antrim Township, Franklin County.
This work originally had been scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 17-20, but the forecast of rain postponed it to this weekend.
There are three approaches to traffic control for northbound traffic over this weekend:
The repair work will be conducted for PennDOT by New Enterprise Stone & Lime Company of New Enterprise, Pennsylvania.
Motorists can also check traffic conditions on nearly 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 850 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAHarrisburg.
Great news! Route 15 Open at CSVT Interchange near Winfield
Montoursville, PA – Route 15 is now open to traffic in both directions at the scene of the crane crash that closed the road between Route 304 in Winfield, Union County and Route 11 in Monroe Township, Snyder County.
The left (passing) lane of Route 15 southbound is now open. Both lanes of Route 15 northbound opened earlier this morning.
The right (driving) lane of Route 15 southbound is expected to remain closed for the next several weeks.
Motorists should be alert and drive with caution through the area.
The section of Route 15 in Union County closed since Wednesday night when a 74-ton steel girder fell across it at a bridge construction site is expected to be reopened sometime Saturday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says. Until Route 15 between Winfield and Shamokin Dam is reopened, PennDOT is using separate detours for north and southbound traffic.
Northbound traffic south of Selinsgrove is being directed to follow Routes 35, 104 and 45 into Lewisburg.
The detour for northbound motorist in Selinsgrove and beyond is Route 61 into Sunbury then Routes 11, 54 and Interstate80 back to Route 15 in the Milton area.
The detour for southbound traffic follows Route 304, 204, 522, Market Street in Selinsgrove and Route 35 back to Route 15.
Update as of 8/16/18 at 2:00 pm: This project is being postponed due to anticipated rain in tomorrow's forecast. PennDot will attempt to begin the work next Friday, 8/24. Again, please stay tuned to www.511pa.com for updates.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Beginning tomorrow night (8/17) at 9pm, PennDot will be shutting down I81 at the Welcome Center, mile marker 1.2, to proactively repair a potential sink hole. This closure is expected to cause major delays. The repair should take approximately 30 hours, but depending on the degree of damage to the roadway, could last throughout the weekend. Please check www.511pa.com for additional updates and information.
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