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Speed reduced on much of Pa. Turnpike, other highways

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 26 2012 12:19:46 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 26 2012 03:34:07 PM CST

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

The winter storm has prompted officials to lower the speed limit to 45 mph on much of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and other highways.

The lower limit is in place on a nearly 300-mile stretch of the turnpike between the border with Ohio and the Morgantown interchange in Berks County and on the Northeast Extension from Mid-County to Clarks Summit because of heavy snow and freezing rain, said officials, adding that people should not travel unless it is necessary.

According to PennDOT, the lower speed limit is also in effect on:

Interstates 78 in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties;
Interstate 80 in Carbon and Monroe counties;
Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County;
Interstate 176 in Berks County;
Interstate 380 in Monroe County;
Route 22 in Lehigh and Northampton counties;
Route 422 in Berks County;
Route 33 in Monroe and Northampton counties;
and Route 309, between Interstate 78 and Ridgeview Drive, in Lehigh County.

Although PennDOT has crews treating state roads and highways around the clock, the department said its primary goal is to keep the roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow.

Motorists are reminded to heed the lower speed limits and turn on headlights to see and be seen.

In addition, trucks pulling doubles or empty trailers are now banned from traveling in both directions on the 86-mile stretch of turnpike from New Stanton (Exit  75) to Breezewood (Exit  161). The ban includes any vehicles pulling, campers, utility and horse trailers.

Pennsylvania Turnpike motorists will be alerted about any such restrictions via message signs, highway advisory radio station 1640 AM, and the turnpike website.

Motorists can also check the conditions of more than 2,900 miles of state roads by calling 511 or visiting 511PA.com.