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

December 23, 2004




Harrisburg, PA — The Pennsylvania Turnpike will be in holiday season travel mode over the next two weeks to serve customers as they journey to their destinations. Some three million vehicles are expected to use the 531-mile Pennsylvania Turnpike system during the coming Holiday and New Year’s celebrations. Joseph G. Brimmeier, the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, said the safety of all drivers and occupants is the toll road agency’s top priority.

“The holidays can be hectic so we want to make travel on the Turnpike as enjoyable and stress-free as possible,” Brimmeier stated. “Traffic volumes will be heavy. Be patient and give yourself plenty of travel time. We want our customers to get to their destinations and return home, safe and sound.”

Turnpike maintenance crews are prepared to work around the clock to keep the highway clear of snow and ice. Safety patrols and Pennsylvania State Police Troop T will have an increased presence, watching for stranded motorists and erratic or aggressive drivers. State Police also advised motorists who have to stop to get as far off the road as they can, to use a wide pull-off area if possible, and to utilize their emergency flashers. To avoid fatigue, drivers can stop at any of the Turnpike’s 21 well-lit service plazas open 24/7 where they will find food, hot and cold beverages, clean restrooms and travel information.

Permitted over-dimensional vehicles (over 10 feet in width, 85 feet in length, 13 1/2 feet in height, and 125.000 pounds) will not be allowed on the Turnpike from sundown, Thursday December 23 to sunrise, Monday December 27.

Brimmeier reminded motorists that such holiday weekends are an ideal time to take advantage of the Turnpike’s E-ZPass program. “With increased traffic over the holiday, our E-ZPass customers will enjoy the ease and convenience the technology offers, avoiding backups and delays at toll lanes.” To sign up for E-ZPass or obtain more information about the program, customers can call 1-877-736-6727 or visit the Turnpike’s website at www.paturnpike.com

Because weather can become severe and dangerous this time of year, motorists are urged to make sure their vehicles are in good order - check tires, hoses, belts, windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid before leaving home - and make sure cell phones are fully charged. Weather updates for areas across the state can be found at the Turnpike’s toll-free weather line at 1-800-331-3414 or by logging on to www.paturnpike.com. Travelers are urged to be prepared to handle frigid, snowy and icy conditions by packing some emergency items like warm blankets, flares and flashlights with fresh batteries.



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