Gov Wolf signs disaster declaration for Pa. as storm affects travel across the commonwealth

Snow covered roadways across Pennsylvania prompted Gov. Tom Wolf to sign a disaster declaration for the commonwealth Monday

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a disaster declaration Monday afternoon as a powerful nor’easter dumped snow across Pennsylvania.

PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Melissa Batula explained the importance of the declaration in order for crews to do their job this way, "We are in the middle of one of the most impactful statewide storms we’ve had in a long time. This is truly an all-hands-on-deck situation, and our crews are working hard to keep roads safe and passable."

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission placed restrictions on trucks and vehicles traveling highways across the state and add the need for further restrictions may arise. By Tuesday morning, some restrictions had been eased.

Tier 1 restrictions now in place, due to the storm:

  • Route 33 from Interstate 78 to Interstate 80;
  • Interstate 78 from Route 33 to the New Jersey border;
  • Interstate 81 from Interstate 80 to the New Jersey border; and
  • Interstate 476 (PA Turnpike Northeast Extension) from Lehigh Valley Interchange (Interstate 78, Exit 56) to Clarks Summit (Interstate 81, Exit 131).

These vehicles are not permitted on Tier 1 roadways, because of the restrictions:

  • Tractors without trailers;
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers;
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers;
  • Enclosed cargo delivery 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 not carrying chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATD’s); and
  • Motorcycles.

Tier 4 restrictions are in place for these roadways:

  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 81 to Route 33;
  • The entire length of Interstate 84; and
  • Interstate 380 from Interstate 80 to Interstate 81

No commercial vehicles are permitted on roadways with Tier 4 restrictions. Other vehicles not permitted include:

  • School buses
  • Commercial buses
  • Motorcycles
  • RVs or motorhomes
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks) towing trailers

Motorists will be alerted of restrictions through message boards, through the 511PA website and through the smartphone apps.

All travel is discouraged during the storm. If one must travel, be aware of rapidly changing conditions, reduce speed and use caution. Make sure there is an emergency kit, blankets and other emergency supplies in the vehicle.

More information regarding safe winter travel can be found at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website, here.


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