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Major storm blasts Northeast, states implement truck restrictions for safety

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Major storm blasts Northeast, states implement truck restrictions for safety
A commuter waits for transportation toward New York City at a bus stop in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Snowfall is picking up in the Northeast as the region braces for a whopper of a storm that could dump well over a foot of snow in many areas, create blizzardlike conditions and cause travel problems for the next few days. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK — Instead of shuttered schools and snow days, the latest winter storm to wallop the Northeast shut down vaccination sites and snarled other pandemic-related services in many states that could see as much as a foot of snow by Monday evening, Feb. 1.

Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a nor’easter developing off the mid-Atlantic coast will be a “pretty slow mover” as it brings heavy snow and strong winds through Tuesday, Feb. 2.

“It’s going to be a prolonged event,” Pagano said.

As of Monday morning, some areas had already gotten 3 to 5 inches of snow, with 6 inches in parts of Pennsylvania, she said. In parts of New Jersey, 7 inches already was reported as of Monday morning.

In an effort to ensure safety and allow emergency-response vehicles to operate, several states have implemented commercial-truck restrictions.

New York State

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo has declared a state of emergency throughout Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. Road conditions will worsen as snowfall rates increase to 2 to 3 inches an hour. Wind gusts could reach 50 mph or more on Long Island, especially eastern Long Island where 60 mph wind gusts could occur, and many places upstate could see up to 40 mph wind gusts. Blowing and drifting snow will likely cause reduced visibilities and treacherous driving conditions in some places.

Full road closures could be put in place as the storm intensifies. All nonessential travel should be postponed until the storm passes.

Currently there is an empty trailer and/or tandem ban on the following:

  • Interstate 84, from Pennsylvania state line to Connecticut state line;
  • Interstate 87, from New York City line to Exit 24 at Albany;
  • Interstate 87, between Exit 8 and Exit 21A, and the Berkshire Spur;
  • Interstate 95;
  • Interstate 287, Cross Westchester;
  • Interstate 684, entire length;
  • Route 17, east of Binghampton to New Jersey state line;
  • Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing;
  • George Washington Bridge;
  • Goethals Bridge;
  • Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge; and
  • All MTA bridges and tunnels.

In addition, the New York State Department of Transportation has issued a limited hours-of-service waiver, effective through Feb. 7, for fuel deliveries in the counties of Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk.

Pennsylvania

All commercial vehicles are banned on the following:

  • Interstate 78, from Interstate 81 to the New Jersey state line;
  • Interstate 80, from Interstate 81 to the New Jersey state line;
  • Interstate 84, from Interstate 81 to the New York state line;
  • Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Lehigh Valley to Pocono;
  • Interstate 380, from Interstate 80 to Interstate 81;
  • State Route 33, from Interstate 78 to Interstate 80; and
  • S. 22, from Interstate 78 to the New Jersey state line.

Commercial vehicles traveling the following routes must have chains or ATD onboard:

  • Interstate 283, from Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 83;
  • Interstate 81, from Maryland state line to New York state line;
  • Interstate 80, from Interstate 99 to Interstate 81;
  • Interstate 83, from Maryland state line to Interstate 81;
  • Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Pocono to Clarks Summit;
  • Interstate 95/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Interstate 276 to the New Jersey state line;
  • Interstate 276 Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Valley Forge to Interstate 95 connector;
  • Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Mid County to Lehigh Valley; and
  • Interstate 76/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Carlisle to Valley Forge.

Empty tractor-trailers are banned on the following:

  • Interstate 99, from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 80;
  • Interstate 80, from Interstate 79 to Interstate 99;
  • Interstate 70, from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Maryland state line;
  • Interstate 95/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Interstate 276 to the New Jersey state line;
  • Interstate 76/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Breezewood to Valley Forge;
  • Interstate 276/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Valley Forge to Interstate 95 connector; and
  • Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Mid County to Clarks Summit.

New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on Sunday and closed all state government offices for nonessential personnel.

The state has implemented a full commercial vehicle ban on all interstates and highways. All tractor-trailers, empties, passenger vehicles pulling trailers, recreation vehicles, and motorcycles are included in the ban.

The restriction DOES NOT include the New Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway. A speed restriction of 35 mph is in place on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

Connecticut

Empty and tandem tractor-trailers are banned from all limited-access highways.

All tractor-trailers are prohibited from travel on Interstate 84, and empty tractor-trailers are banned on Interstate 395 southbound between Exit 53 and Exit 2.

Vehicles carrying emergency supplies necessary for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to vaccines, testing supplies, medications, medical supplies, food and fuel, are exempt from the ban.

Rhode Island

Tractor-trailers are prohibited from all state highways.

Massachusetts

Tractor-trailers, tandems and specialty-permitted vehicles are prohibited on all limited-access highways.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Trucker News Staff

The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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