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Announcements News

2019 Official Road Map

With the Department of Transportation having printed an official road map for every year of the past decade, I figured there would be one printed for 2019. I stopped by the DMV and picked up the last one of the 2010s decade, and marks the 2010s the first one in 50 years to have a map published in every year. The following are the changes in the 2019 official Pennsylvania map since the 2018 edition:

Allegheny County/Washington County
PA Turnpike 576 shown as under construction

Bucks County
Interstate 95 and Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange now complete and Interstate 95 routed over the Delaware River Bridge
Interstate 295 replaces Interstate 95 north of the Turnpike

Somerset County
US 219 expressway completed

Cover of the 2019 official state road map

The map has the same dimensions as the previous year’s, and features the same amenities such as the tourism slogan and “2019” in a keystone.  However, this year’s cover picture is of a family taking a selfie on a ski slope.  You can view the 2019 official road map on PennDOT’s site PDF icon.

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Announcements News

2018 Official Road Map

Knowing the track record of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, I figured there would be a new 2018 official road map.  Sure enough, there is, so I swung by the DMV office to pick up a few.  The following are the changes since the 2017 issue:

Snyder County/Union County
Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway (US 15 and PA 147) shown as under construction

The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway is shown as under construction on the 2018 official road map

That is the only change to the 2018 official road map, but it is a big change. The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway is another project that PennDOT shelved in the 1970s due to lack of funds which is finally seeing the light of day. While the Governor Edward Rendell administration promised $51 million for the highway; however, the money was never allocated by the time he left office. Funding would not be secured until 2013 when Act 89 was signed into law by then Governor Tom Corbett. The bill provides for road projects, bridge repairs, as well as funding for public transit.

The map has the same dimensions as the previous year’s, and features the same amenities such as the tourism slogan and “2018” in a keystone.  However, this year’s cover picture is from Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County.

Cover of the 2018 Department of Transportation map
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Announcements News

It’s a Snap…chat!

One thing that I have tried to make Pennsylvania Highways be is at the forefront of innovations of Internet technology.  Recently that technology is with the evolution of social media, or what was once referred to as “Web 2.0.”  While I will be the first to admit that the site itself still has work to be done, it’s presence in social media has been extensive.  Some of our social media channels have worked out well engaging with the public, such as Twitter and Facebook, and others not so much, such as Del.icio.us and Vimeo, have not.

One new social media outlet that has been talked about in recent time is Snapchat. It is similar to text messaging or instant messaging, except that the “snaps” you send someone automatically deletes itself after a period of time. Even with this limitation, businesses are jumping on the bandwagon and joining.

We figured we might as well jump on the bandwagon as well, but trying to navigate Snapchat is a little challenging. Businesses use it to advertise discount codes for their stores, share branded filters, or show “behind-the-scenes” activities. I doubt anyone wants to see me code pages or update content, so I guess it’ll be used to promote new construction projects. If you want to join us on the trip, just snap (see what I did there?) our snapcode below.

Pennsylvania Highways Snapcode
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Announcements News

2017 Official Road Map

While looking on the PennDOT website, I discovered there was a new 2017 official road map.  So, I took a drive to the DMV office and picked up a few. One copy is for the Pennsylvania Highways Library and a couple to trade.  The following are the changes since the 2016 map, and long overdue ones at that:

Bucks County/Montgomery County
Business US 202 now shown on the former route of US 202

Business US 202 in Montgomery and Bucks counties is finally signed on the 2017 official road map

Somerset County
US 219 under construction from Meyersdale to Somerset

US 219 is finally indicated as under construction on the 2017 official road map

While under construction since 2013, this edition is the first to show the work taking place. I have expressed my bewilderment to this major project being ignored over the past three yearly map issues in their respective reviews. As for Business US 202, it was signed in 2012 when the new US 202 parkway was completed.

While it has the same dimensions as the previous year’s, the cover is much different that on past issues.  For the first time since the 2003 edition, “Pennsylvania” is not printed in a Clearview-like font on a blue background at the top of the map.  It is now printed in the font that is in use by the Department of Tourism, and the new slogan, “Pursue Your Happiness” is printed below.  The year of issue is at the bottom in a keystone, appropriately enough.  The picture on the cover of the 2017 official road map is of Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County.

Cover of the 2017 Department of Transportation map
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Announcements News

2016 Official Road Map

Since my driver’s license was up for renewal, I was at the DMV and figured I would see if there were any new state road maps out on display.  As usual, they did not disappoint and I snagged a copy of the 2016 official road map.

Unlike last year, there are no changes of note between this version and the 2015 version.  Just as in 2014, one blatantly obvious omission still is in Somerset County. The major project that has already begun there is construction of the “missing link” of US 219 expressway between Meyersdale and Somerset. Construction began on this link on February 15, 2013; however, it is missing on this year’s map again. It was missing on the 2014 and 2015 editions as well. It is odd because this is a project which has been championed for years by local officials. One politician in particular who pushed for the road was the late US Representative John Murtha. I would venture a guess that it will be shown as under construction at some point on a future edition.

Construction of US 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset is still missing on the 2016 official road map

It has the same dimensions as the previous year’s. However, the cover of the 2016 official road map features a picture of a picture of Liberty Street in Franklin.

Cover of the 2016 Department of Transportation map
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Announcements News

Up Periscope!

We all know the function of periscopes on submarines.  They are the instrument that sailors use to check out what is going on on the surface.  Just as that periscope helps see a wider view, there is now an app that can do the same thing.

Periscope was developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein in 2014 and acquired by Twitter a year later.  The purpose of the app is to stream in real-time anything using a smartphone.  Hopefully I will be able to use it to live stream events such as ribbon-cutting ceremonies, project open houses, and other events related to the highway system.  As they say in the television business, “stay tuned.”

https://www.periscope.tv/pahighways

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Announcements News

2015 Official Road Map

Christmas came a little late this year for yours truly, at least in terms of road-related presents.  Since I did not have time to get to the DMV, I figured I would just order the 2015 official road map directly from PennDOT.  Here are the changes since last year:

Carbon County
Exit 87 (E-ZPass-only) at PA 903 is now open on Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike-Northeast Extension

E-ZPass-only ramps at PA 903 in Carbon County are new on the 2015 official road map

Westmoreland County
PA Turnpike 66‘s exit numbers are finally shown along the expressway after the highway has been open since 1993 and changed from sequential to mileage-based in 2001.

PA Turnpike 66's exit numbers first appear on the 2015 official road map even though the highway has been open since 1993

Pittsburgh Inset
PA 28 now shown with the red expressway “stripe” from the 40th Street Bridge to the Butler Street interchange and the Millvale interchange now shown

East Ohio Street shown as an expressway on the 2015 official road map

The “missing link” in the limited-access roadway between the Interstate 279/Interstate 579 interchange and the 40th Street Bridge was a long time in coming. Activity began to pick up in the 2000s with construction planned to start in 2004 and end in 2009; however, the plan at the time was put on the shelf. Construction did not begin until 2010 and was completed last year.

Those are all of the changes to the 2015 official road map. It has the same dimensions as the previous year’s. However, this year’s cover features a picture of a two-lane roadway in the fall.

Cover of the 2015 Department of Transportation map
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Announcements News

2013 Official Turnpike Map

At today’s car show at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza, not only did I receive a lot of Turnpike “swag,” but included in the “goodie” bag that all participants received was a copy of the new 2013 official Turnpike map.

It is the same size as the 2011 version, but instead of being a tri-fold map, this year’s version features an “accordion” fold.  The following are the changes made since the last edition:

Carbon County
E-ZPass-only interchange on Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike-Northeast Extension marked as under construction

Fayette County/Washington County
PA Turnpike 43 open between US 40 and PA 88

The cover features a picture of the mainline Turnpike between the Blue Mountain and Carlisle interchanges.  You can view the strip maps of the 2013 official Turnpike map at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s page.

Cover of the 2013 Turnpike Travel Guide and Map
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Events News

Pennsylvania Turnpike 75th Birthday Car Show

When the weather turns warm in Pennsylvania, it is a time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.  We have an abundance of state parks and historic sites. Therefore, there is plenty to see and do in the Keystone State. One such activity that can shake off “cabin fever” is a good, old fashioned car show.  Since this year marks the Pennsylvania Turnpike 75th birthday of the original section of Turnpike from Irwin to Carlisle opening, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission held a car show at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza today.

Others had been held for other birthday milestone years, so this is not the first time.  However, this was the first one with myself and my family in attendance as we had a vehicle worthy of displaying.

Attendees who were displaying their vehicles could either come via the Turnpike itself for free, thanks to Sunoco picking up the tab, or by parallel routes.  We decided on the latter, and I will say it was a little strange to enter a service plaza through a gate instead of a ramp.

Vehicles from various eras and states on display at the Pennsylvania Turnpike 75th Birthday Car Show

While the show took place, HMS Host, managers of the service plazas, sold hot dogs and Coca-Cola products for the price of what they cost in 1940.  The Turnpike Commission sold 75th Anniversary memorabilia, including a hard-cover picture book detailing the history of the highway. I even had a chance to meet a fan of the site since its America Online days, Ron Breisch.

Participants had chances to win items from the Turnpike Commission answering trivia questions as well as in a raffle. I didn’t think it would be too sporting if the Webmaster of Pennsylvania Highways answered each question. Therefore, I just answered one of the trivia questions and won a PTC t-shirt.  In addition, I won a model of an old fashioned Coca-Cola delivery truck in the raffle. Above all, participants received a swag bag of goodies which are pictured below.

In conclusion, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful drive to and from the plaza for the Pennsylvania Turnpike 75th Birthday Car Show. The car show was a nice event to celebrate the Turnpike’s diamond anniversary; however, it was also communal event that brought out people from across the state and even country.

PA Turnpike Celebrating 75 Years! – Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

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Announcements News

2014 Official Road Map

After hearing that there was a new state highway map, I thought I would attempt to find one myself.  Sure enough, I found the sixth official map in a row to be printed. That is something which hasn’t happened in nearly 40 years. I snagged a copy of the 2014 official road map at the Welcome Center on Interstate 70 in Warfordsburg today.

Unlike in previous years, there were no changes of note since the 2013 version.  It is not as if nothing has happened or is currently happening in the state. One blatantly obvious omission is in Somerset County. A major project that has already begun there is construction of the “missing link” of US 219 expressway between Meyersdale and Somerset. Work began on February 15, 2013; however, it is missing on this year’s map. It is odd because this is a project that has been championed for years by local officials. One politician in particular who pushed for the road was the late US Representative John Murtha.

Construction of US 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset is missing on the 2014 official road map

It has the same dimensions as the previous year’s. However, the cover of the 2014 official road map features a picture of a 10-string Harp Guitar made by C. F. Martin & Company, Inc. of Nazareth.

Cover of the 2014 Department of Transportation map
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