Ahead of new storm, PA bans trucks on some highways

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Updated Mar 8, 2018

PennDOT UpdateWith yet another winter storm bearing down on the Northeast, Pennsylvania is banning trucks and some other vehicles from numerous highways and urging against any unnecessary travel.

Beginning tonight at midnight, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is banning empty straight trucks, large combination vehicles (tandem trailers and double trailers, tractors hauling empty trailers, trailers pulled by passenger vehicles, motorcycles and recreational vehicles on numerous highways. Those routes include:

  • Interstate 78 from the junction with Interstate 81 in Lebanon County to the New Jersey line
  • I-80 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New Jersey line
  • I-81 from the Maryland line to the New York State line
  • I-84 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New York State line
  • I-380 from the junction with Interstate 80 to the junction with Interstate 81

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission prohibits these vehicles on the northeastern extension between the Lehigh Tunnel and Clarks Summit.

Additionally, at 8 a.m. Wednesday, all commercial vehicles will be banned on I-380 and I-84 within Pennsylvania.

PennDOT said these restrictions will remain in place as long as warranted through the storm. As conditions develop, speed restrictions and wider truck and vehicle bans will be considered on these routes.

The National Weather Service is forecasting between 8 and 18 inches of snow over much of Northeast Wednesday and Thursday. High winds and flooding are once again expected along the Atlantic.

Named Quinn by the Weather Channel, this is the same storm that dumped snow and snarled traffic in the western mountain regions and across the northern plains.

“This storm may not have the extremely high winds as the one last week, but it will dump significant amounts of snow across a wider area and that prospect is moving us to take additional aggressive steps to restrict heavier vehicles from the interstates,” Gov. Tom Wolf said, who declared a state of emergency in 26 counties.

Expect Truck Restrictions in New York State

The Trucking Association just posted this to its Facebook page:

In the wake of the significant number of incidents involving commercial vehicles during Winter Storm Riley on Friday – many of which occurred following a ban on tractor trailers on those roadways – TANY expects that preemptive commercial vehicle restrictions will be put in place during the upcoming storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Eastern New York, the Mid-Hudson Valley and New York City/Long Island. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Central New York.

A strong Nor’easter is expected to hit the region beginning early Wednesday morning and continuing through Thursday morning. Snow accumulations could reach up to 20 inches in some locations. With snowfall rates between 1 and 2 inches per hour, travel will be dangerous and should be avoided.

Motor carriers should be prepared for restrictions along I-84, I-87, I-90, the New York State Thruway, the Long Island Expressway, and on New York City bridges as a result of high winds. Please plan accordingly for alternate routes and safe truck parking.