CONTACT: Carl DeFebo, PA Turnpike
Phone: 717-831-7176

Rich Kirkpatrick, PennDOT
Phone: 717-783-8800
November 20, 2014
Pa. Turnpike Assisting With Snow Removal Effort in Buffalo, New York

PennDOT helps haul equipment to snow event, places crews on standby.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and PennDOT are lending a hand to road crews on the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) in Buffalo, New York with manpower and snow-removal equipment for the massive effort to dig out from several feet of snow.

The PTC last night sent 20 maintenance-department employees, including equipment operators and mechanics from all over the state, to the Thruway -- an east-west toll road that cuts across the Empire State, where snow continues to fall.

PTC employees arrived late last night; by early this morning, they had already begun assisting with the massive snow-removal project. The team is set to return on Nov. 24.

"Our guys volunteered to spend the weekend away from their families in order to assist our neighbors to the north," said PTC CEO Mark Compton. "They're doing a super job, and I am very proud of them all."

PennDOT assisted the Turnpike by providing drivers and trailers to help move six pieces of heavy equipment to southwestern New York -- which has been hammered by lake-effect snowfall.

"Weather is unpredictable and can have huge impacts on travel, commerce and our communities," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "In situations like this, I am proud that our team of professionals is called on for assistance, and we're happy to provide that help."

PennDOT provided four lowboy trailers (a flatbed trailer used to haul heavy equipment) and drivers to help to deliver the PTC equipment to the area. The Turnpike/PennDOT team hauled a total of nine lowboy trailers carrying five front-end loaders and five front-mounted snow blowers (each shipped on a separate trailer due to their size) plus one self-propelled, runway-type snow blower from Somerset, Pa.

PennDOT has placed another eight to 10 snow-removal crews on standby, ready to depart for New York if authorities there request additional equipment.

Sections of I-90, the New York Thruway, remain closed this morning.