Relief is in sight along Pennsylvania Turnpike as service plazas reopen

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Valley Forge Travel Plaza on Pennsylvania Turnpike
Valley Forge Travel Plaza

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced March 19 that all 17 of its service plazas along the turnpike will reopen at 7 a.m. Friday, March 20. Restrooms inside all service plazas will be open 24/7; the outdoor portable toilets will remain in place at the service plazas for about a week.

Limited food options will be available at all service plazas starting at 8 a.m. Friday and continuing until 6 p.m. for take-out only (no dine-in). Thereafter, and until further notice, food will be served from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., except at the North Midway and Valley Forge locations, which will offer food 24/7.

All service plazas will have limited staffing to help ensure the safety of the employees of HMS Host and 7-Eleven, which operate the PA Turnpike service plazas. Fuel and all convenience stores inside the service plazas will continue to remain open 24 hours a day. For more information on service plazas, visit https://www.paturnpike.com/pdfs/travel/PTC_Service_Plaza_Guide.pdf.

The commission also reminds travelers that the PA Turnpike is not accepting cash or credit cards at its “ticket system” interchanges. This is a temporary safety measure to keep travelers moving with no need to stop at tollbooths or interact with tolling personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. All tolls will be assessed electronically via E-ZPass or the PA Turnpike’s toll-by-plate program as vehicles travel at posted speed limits through tolling points. Cash tolls will still be in place on the Mon-Fayette Expressway (PA Turnpike 43) via the current automated payment machines.

All drivers with special hauling permits for overweight/over-dimensional vehicles (Class 9) will still be able to travel the PA Turnpike. However, they must follow modified procedures during the temporary all-electronic tolling period. All customers in this category must print and carry a hard copy of the approved permit. Tolling personnel at designated interchanges will be available to assist with the appropriate lane assignments. All haulers must apply for a permit within two weeks of the anticipated travel day.

All scheduled construction projects have been halted at this time to keep customers moving, as well as, to limit worker interaction.

Before traveling on the PA Turnpike, customers should visit paturnpike.com for updated information on any operational changes due to COVID-19.

To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via a mobile phone. To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact the commission, use one of these resources:

ON THE PA TURNPIKE

• Variable and digital message signs (nearly 100 signs along the turnpike)

• Highway Advisory Radio, 1640 AM (tune in near interchanges)

BY PHONE

• Turnpike Roadway Information Program (call toll-free 866-976-8747)

• Customer Assistance Center (call toll-free 800-331-3414 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

ON THE WEB

• Visit www.511pa.com for information about the PA Turnpike and all roadways in the state.

• For a live interactive travel conditions map visit www.paturnpike.com/webmap.

• The Waze app, a crowd-sourced navigation app that provides real-time traffic conditions with input from other drivers can be downloaded at www.waze.com.

 

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