Kathy Liebler

Manager, Public Affairs & Media Relations

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Kathy Liebler (717) 939-9551 Ext. 2840
Carl DeFebo (717) 920-7178

September 1, 2004





For current roadway/weather conditions, travelers should call 1-800-331-3414 or visit www.paturnpike.com before departing.

Harrisburg, PA – Approximately two million motorists are expected to travel the PA Turnpike over the Labor Day weekend as they bid a fond farewell to summer. Turnpike officials are prepared to help travelers enjoy a safe and pleasant journey.

Chief Executive Officer Joseph G. Brimmeier said, “Safety is our top priority. We want Turnpike travelers to arrive at their destinations safe and stress-free.” He reminds motorists to “obey the law and buckle up.”

The Pennsylvania State Police Troop T Commander, Captain James J. Garafolo couldn’t agree more. “We are participating in the state-wide “Click-it or Ticket” mobilization effort. Our officers will look for seatbelt and child safety restraint usage at various checkpoints.” He added that certified child passenger safety technicians will be stationed at the checkpoints to advise motorists of proper installation and usage. He also reminds motorists to pull over into a wide area when using a cell phone. “ Troop T is fully prepared to deal with any emergencies and we will be out in full force throughout the holiday period this Friday through Monday. We are asking motorists to do their part by driving with extra care.”

To better accommodate motorists, the roadway will be free of all construction and maintenance activity from 3 p.m. on Thursday, September 2 to 6 a.m. Wednesday, September 8.

Emergency call boxes are located at one-mile intervals along the entire 531-mile Turnpike should emergencies arise. Motorists can also contact the ‘Pike’s Operations Center by dialing *11 (star 1-1) or 1-800-332-3880 on their cell phones. Additional maintenance and safety personnel will be on duty throughout the holiday period to aid stranded motorists. For safety’s sake, travelers are urged to take regular breaks at any of the Turnpike’s 21 well-lit service plazas open 24/7 where they will find a variety of food, hot and cold beverages, clean restrooms and many other convenient services that were created with travelers in mind. If traffic delays arise, motorists can check for announcements on the Turnpike’s Highway Advisory Radio (1640 AM) and watch for travel updates posted on Variable Message Signs stationed along the highway.

Permitted over-dimensional vehicles over 10-feet in width, 85-feet in length, 12 ½ feet in height, and 125,000-pounds will not be allowed to use the Turnpike from noon Friday, September 3 to sunrise Tuesday, September 7.

Brimmeier reminds motorists that holiday weekends are an ideal time to take advantage of E-ZPass. With increased traffic, E-ZPass owners can enjoy the convenience of driving through designated E-ZPass toll lanes. Emphasizing that the Turnpike continually strives to improve E-ZPass, Brimmeier said the Commission recently opened three additional E-ZPass lanes and plans to add at least 15 more lanes by mid-September at interchanges across the Mainline.

Earlier this summer, the Commission opened the Turnpike’s first Express E-ZPass lanes at the Warrendale Mainline Toll Plaza #30, the western terminus of the Turnpike’s ticket system located in Allegheny County. The express lanes allow E-ZPass customers entering the Pennsylvania Turnpike ticket system at Warrendale, traveling eastbound and westbound to travel through E-ZPass lanes at 55 mph and have their toll paid electronically. The speed limit through all other E-ZPass lanes remains at 5 mph.

Motorists can sign up for E-ZPass by calling 1-877-736-6727 or by logging onto www.paturnpike.com and clicking on the E-ZPass link.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wishes all motorists a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.


 P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649