Categories
Announcements News

Get Your Kicks on Route 76…276…476

The first major snow and ice storm of the year has hit the Commonwealth. Highway travel across the state was hampered from its wrath. Due to the severity of the storm and its impact, the Turnpike Commission has suspended toll collection on its roadways. So you can get your kicks on route 76…276…476.

Snow cover across the state which led to get your kicks on route 76, 276, 476.
Snow cover across the state (NOAA)

Sections of Interstate 80 and Interstate 81 have had to close due to stranded vehicles. This has led to the inability for PennDOT plow trucks to clear the roadway. However, the worst back-up took place on Interstate 78 which stretched for about 50 miles from Interstate 81 in Lebanon County to PA 100 in Lehigh County. Numerous tractor-trailers began spinning out and jack-knifing trying to ascend a hill on the Interstate near Hamburg. What started out as snow had changed to ice which led to the poor conditions. Around 9 PM on Valentine’s Day, the National Guard began using humvees to deliver food, blankets, and baby supplies to those trapped in the gridlock.

PennDOT began to close down sections of those Interstates this morning to clear the vehicles as well as the snow and ice.  The problem was that motorists were still able to enter the highways at various points, which added to the existing problem.

With the amount of time it will take PennDOT crews to clean up the scenes and get the Interstates back in shape for traffic, they are asking cross-state traffic to use the Turnpike’s mainline and Northeast Extension as alternate routes.

Governor Rendell has declared a statewide Disaster Emergency. As part of that declaration, tolls are waived on the Turnpike. This is the first time since the first day of the collector strike in 2004. So if you are crossing the state, you can get your kicks on route 76…276…476.

Toll Waiving – Disaster Emergency – Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

 
Categories
News

Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc

From North to South and East to West, there was no hiding from the wrath of Mother Nature the past two days.  Whatever your mode of transportation was, it was either slowed or outright stopped as the first major storm of 2007 made its trek towards the Atlantic.  The worst of the storm hit the eastern side of the state. Interstate 78 was at a stand-still for most of Valentine’s Day. However, all parts of Pennsylvania felt the brunt of this storm. The following is a round-up of road-related stories from all points inside the Keystone State when a winter storm wreaks havoc.

Northwest
Keeping Snow Away from the Street – WICU-TV Erie
Snowy Side Streets Trap Drivers, Towing Warning – WJET-TV Erie

Northeast
Roads Called “Horrible” – WNEP-TV Scranton
Interstates Closed for Icy Conditions – WNEP-TV Scranton
Storm Brings Mixed Bag – Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Southeast
Colossal Traffic Mess Strands Motorists For Hours – KYW-TV Philadelphia
Logjam Gone, But I-78 Closed – WPVI-TV Philadelphia
Hundreds Stranded on Interstate 78 – WHTM-TV Harrisburg

Southwest
Valentine’s Day Storm Causes Treacherous Commute – WTAE-TV Pittsburgh
Local Woman’s Frightening Ordeal On I-78 Ends – KDKA-TV Pittsburgh
Crash in Snow Causes I-79 Closure – WPXI-TV Pittsburgh
Rendell Declares State of Emergency – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The snow cover after a winter storm wreaks havoc in 2007.
Snow cover across the state (NOAA)

Where I live east of Pittsburgh, or “ice-burgh” as it was referred to in the media, we received about seven inches. It would have been more if the precipitation did not turn from snow to freezing rain through Wednesday morning.  When I checked my e-mail this morning, there were almost 130 travel bulletins from the PTC and PennDOT!  Public transportation was not a choice either as the subway, also known as the “T,” was not running through the South Hills. The reason for the closure of the subway was due to ice on the overhead wires.

This winter storm is now winding down. Needless to say this will not be the last time a winter storm wreaks havoc.

 
Advertisements