PennDOT announces road restrictions ahead of upcoming winter storm system

12 February 2024- Ahead of anticipate snow across the state overnight into tomorrow, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm. Additionally, the agencies will implement various speed and vehicle restrictions throughout the storm.

PennDOT and PTC crews are actively pre-treating roadways where necessary ahead of the storm to help prevent ice from forming a bond with the pavement during the early stages of a storm. However, salt does not resolve all risks, and drivers may encounter icy spots on the roadway. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form.

Restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website and smartphone apps. Motorists can also sign up for personalized alerts on the website.

The following vehicle restrictions will go into effect at 3:00 AM on Tuesday, February 13, in accordance with the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan. Restrictions will be lifted as quickly as possible when conditions are safe. 

  • Tier 2:
    • PA Turnpike (I-76) from New Stanton (Exit 75) to Breezewood (Exit 161).
    • Interstate 78, entire length.
    • I-80 from I-79 to milepost 173 (Lamar).
    • I-99, entire length.
    • U.S. 22 from I-78 to the New Jersey border.
    • Route 33, entire length.
    • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-78 to I-80.
  • Tier 4 (no commercial vehicles):
    • I-80 from milepost 173 (Lamar) to the New Jersey border.
    • I-81 from I-78 to the New York border.
    • I-84, entire length.
    • I-180, entire length.
    • I-380, entire length.
    • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-80 to Clarks Summit (Exit 130).

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 without chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATDs).
  • 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.  

Tire chains or ATDs do not need to be installed under Tier 2 restrictions but need to be readily available for use should the vehicle become stuck and not be able to move because of poor traction.

On roadways with Tier 4 restrictions in place, no commercial vehicles are permitted. Additionally, all school buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers are not permitted on affected roadways while restrictions are in place. 

On roadways where vehicles are not restricted, commercial vehicle drivers in particular are encouraged to exercise caution in high winds. Drivers should ensure their loads are secure, reduce speeds, increase following distance, and use flashers if necessary.