Pennsylvania issues winter truck travel ban on Interstates 86 and 90

Tractor-trailers in snow

Because of windy and snowy conditions, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is restricting travel on two interstate highways in the western part of the state starting this afternoon.

"The forecast on Friday evening starts with winds and moves to snow on Saturday through Monday. That means our crews, especially in Erie County, must be ready for different roadway needs," said Aaron Fox, Assistant District 1 Executive – Maintenance. "Our staff will be ready for whatever the weather brings, and we are asking motorists to be partners in keeping everyone safe."

As part of those safety efforts and based on the forecasted winds, PennDOT is planning to implement Tier 2 of the commonwealth's weather event vehicle restriction plan (PDF) for the entire length of Interstate 86 and Interstate 90 in Erie County. The restrictions are planned to go in place at 4 p.m. today, Friday, Jan. 12. However, PennDOT said the start time could be changed based on weather conditions.                               

Under Tier 2 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:

  • Tractors without trailers
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers
  • Tractors towing loaded tandem trailers unless there are chains or another approved Alternate Traction Devices
  • Enclosed unloaded or lightly loaded cargo delivery trucks/box trucks that meet the definition of a CMV
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV's, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers
  • Recreational vehicles/motorhomes
  • School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches regardless of the availability of trains or ATDs
  • Motorcycles

The purpose of the restriction is to help ensure the interstates remain open during the most challenging conditions of the winter storm. When conditions improve, PennDOT will remove the travel restrictions.