Due to the dangerous wind speeds associated with Hurricane Sandy, beginning at 10 a.m. today the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) will temporarily reduce the speed limit to 45 mph and restrict certain types of vehicles on some southeast Pa. roadways.
PennDOT is urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel but those who must head out will see speeds reduced to 45 mph on the following highways:
• Interstate 76 in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties;
• Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, Bucks and Delaware counties;
• Interstate 476 in Delaware and Montgomery counties;
• Interstate 676 in Philadelphia;
• Pennsylvania Turnpike in Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties;
• U.S. Route 1 Extension in Philadelphia;
• U.S. Route 1 in Bucks, Philadelphia, Delaware and Chester counties;
• U.S. Route 30 Bypass in Chester County;
• Route 63 (Woodhaven Expressway) in Philadelphia;
• U.S. Route 202 in Chester County;
• Route 309 in Bucks and Montgomery counties;
• U.S. Route 422 in Montgomery County; and
• Route 611 Bypass in Bucks County.
Also, in conjunction with similar restrictions imposed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, these types of vehicles will be prohibited from traveling on the speed-restricted roadways:
• Class 9 vehicles (Overweight and over-dimensional trucks);
• Empty straight trucks;
• Large Combination Vehicles (tandem trailers and doubles);
• Tractors hauling empty trailers;
• Trailers pulled by passenger vehicles;
• Motorcycles; and
• Recreational Vehicles, or RVs.
PennDOT and the PTC may expand these restrictions to other parts of the state later today. Vehicles in these classifications should pull over to a safe area and wait for the restriction to be lifted.
Although PennDOT recommends not traveling during intense storms, motorists can check road conditions on more than 2,900 miles of state roads by calling 5-1-1 or visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and access to more than 670 traffic cameras. Regional Twitter pages and personal alerts are also available on the 511PA website.
Travelers who must be on the roadways should be sure that they have an emergency kit packed in their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into account special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.
PennDOT also reminds citizens that information such as checklists for emergency kits and templates for emergency plans, as well as other information and volunteer opportunities, is available at www.ReadyPA.org or by calling 1-888-9-READYPA (1-888-973-2397).