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Traffic routines returning to somewhat normal after storm

The FMCSA has issued a waiver on HOS rules to trucks involved in storm relief efforts.

The Trucker News Services

10/30/2012

Things are slowing coming back to normal along the East Coast in terms of travel.

The New York State Motor Truck Association reported at 10 a.m. EDT that the Tappan Zee Bridge was now open.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary announced that the Maryland DOT had authorized a 15 percent increase in truck weight limits on both Maryland state roads and the interstate highway system for vehicles making deliveries associated with relief efforts. All major toll bridges and tunnels, including the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, are reopened.

In New Jersey, the entire length of the Garden State Parkway has reopened.

A 129-mile stretch was closed in both directions from Woodbridge to the southern terminus because of flooding caused by Sandy.

Gov. Chris Christie has tweeted that motorists shouldn't drive unless absolutely necessary because 200 other state roads remain closed.

Southbound lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike are closed between Exits 10 and 14.

The turnpike remains closed between Exits 14 and 14C. Additionally, the southbound ramp at Exit 15W to I-280 is closed due to a washout.

The Lincoln Tunnel is open. The Holland Tunnel is closed under further notice.

The George Washington Bridge, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing are closed until further notice.

All Delaware River Port Authority toll crossings reopened to traffic Tuesday.

The Atlantic City Expressway is closed east of Exit 5.

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In Pennsylvania, more than 400 roads are closed.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Chizmar says road crews are dealing Tuesday with obstacles including fallen trees and washed-out bridges that are closing roads.

PennDOT said earlier it pulled crews back during the worst of the winds because workers clearing already downed trees were endangered by other trees coming down around them.

Earlier Tuesday PennDOT reopened Interstates 95 and 676 in Philadelphia as well as portions of other highways that had been closed Monday to non-emergency traffic. Speed restrictions were also lifted on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Meanwhile the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a regional declaration of emergency that waives the Hours of Service regulations for trucks providing direct assistance to relief efforts.

The waiver will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 12 unless extended.

According to the FMCSA, in order to use the waiver, drivers must carry a copy of the declaration order with them and be specifically dispatched with a load of relief supplies.

Because of the massive damage along the East Coast, carriers are advised to call ahead for any shipments scheduled for any area that may have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

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