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States enact commercial-vehicle restrictions as winter storm approaches Mid-Atlantic, Northeast regions of U.S.

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States enact commercial-vehicle restrictions as winter storm approaches Mid-Atlantic, Northeast regions of U.S.
A winter storm is expected to create hazardous conditions in the nation’s Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions from Wednesday, Dec. 16 through Friday, Dec. 18, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service is predicting a major winter storm that’s expected to create extremely hazardous conditions in the nation’s Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions from Wednesday, Dec. 16, through at least Friday, Dec. 18.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm front will bring snow in the north and rain in the south, with a wintry mix expected along the Interstate 95 corridor from the southern Appalachians to the Northeast. Heavy snow is expected to blanket areas northwest of I-95 in the Mid-Atlantic region, much of the Northeast and southern New England later today.

The heaviest snowfall is expected in central Pennsylvania, with a possible accumulation of up to 2 feet, with areas from eastern West Virginia to southern Maine predicting up to 1 foot of snow.

In anticipation of hazardous conditions, some states and cities are already implementing inclement weather restrictions. All drivers are encouraged to check weather and road conditions and avoid travel, if possible.

Pennsylvania

In preparation for a major winter storm event, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to avoid all unnecessary travel during the storm, and are anticipating that restrictions on trucks and other vehicles will be imposed on certain roadways around the state.

Effective 1:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Dec. 16, PennDOT and PTC anticipate Level 1 weather event vehicle restrictions to be in effect on the following roadways:

  • All northbound and southbound miles of Route 33;
  • Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 78;
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to the New Jersey border;
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 81;
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 83;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 84;
  • Interstate 95 from the Delaware border to the New Jersey border;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 283;
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 380;
  • Interstate 476 from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 676;
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 295;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the Breezewood interchange to the New Jersey border; and
  • All northbound and southbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension (Interstate 476) from Interstate 76 to the Clark Summit interchange.

Under Level 1 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;
  • Enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV;
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers;
  • Recreational vehicles/motorhomes; and
  • School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches; and motorcycles.

As of 4 p.m. local time Dec. 16, PennDOT and PTC anticipate Level 3 weather event restrictions to go into effect on the following roadways:

  • All northbound and southbound miles of Route 33;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 78;
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to the New Jersey border;
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 81;
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 83;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 84;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 283;
  • All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 380;
  • Interstate 476 from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95;
  • All eastbound and westbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the Breezewood interchange to the New Jersey border; and
  • All northbound and southbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension (Interstate 476) from Interstate 76 to the Clark Summit interchange.

When Level 3 restrictions are in place, no commercial vehicles are permitted EXCEPT loaded single trailers with chains or approved alternate traction devices. 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.

New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti has issued a commercial vehicle travel restriction on multiple Interstate highways in New Jersey starting at 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Winter weather is expected to begin in the southern region of the state around midday and move northward, resulting in difficult driving conditions. The travel restrictions are being coordinated with neighboring states. In addition to the commercial restrictions, all motorists are strongly encouraging to stay off the roads.

The commercial vehicle travel restriction will begin at 1 p.m. Dec. 16 and will be in place for the length of the following highways in both directions:

  • Interstate 78, from the Pennsylvania border to Interstate 95 (New Jersey Turnpike);
  • Interstate 80, from the Pennsylvania border to Interstate 95 (New Jersey Turnpike);
  • Interstate 195, from Interstate 295 to NJ Route 138;
  • Interstate 280, from Interstate 80 to Interstate 95 (New Jersey Turnpike);
  • Interstate 287, from NJ Route 440 to the New York State border;
  • Interstate 295, from Interstate 195 to the Scudders Falls Bridge (Pennsylvania border); and
  • NJ Route 440, from the Outerbridge Crossing to Interstate 287.

The commercial vehicle travel restriction applies to:

  • All tractor trailers, barring exceptions listed in the administrative order;
  • Empty straight CDL-weighted trucks;
  • Passenger vehicles pulling trailers;
  • Recreational vehicles; and
  • Motorcycles.

This restriction does not apply to:

  • The New Jersey Turnpike;
  • The Garden State Parkway;
  • The Atlantic City Expressway; or
  • Public-safety vehicles, sworn and civilian public safety personnel, or other personnel directly supporting health care facilities or critical infrastructure such as providing fuel or food.

Trucks that are already in New Jersey when the travel restrictions go into place are encouraged to pull off in truck stops to wait out the storm. Do not park on the shoulders, NJDOT warned.

New York

According to the National Weather Service, a major winter storm is expected to significantly impact much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday into Thursday. A widespread swath of heavy wet snow is likely from the central Appalachians and interior Mid-Atlantic into portions of the Northeast and southern New England. Freezing rain and ice are also likely in western North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Travel is not recommended.

According to a statement issued by the Trucking Association of New York, at this time there are no statewide commercial vehicle restrictions planned; however, there is a potential for commercial vehicle restrictions in the mid-Hudson valley area as the storm intensifies.

In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will implement an empty tractor trailer and tandem ban on its facilities beginning at 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

The New York City Department of Transportation plans to suspend over-dimensional travel from 10 p.m. Wednesday night, Dec. 16, through 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17. Applications for travel will not be processed during this time, and applications currently in the system will be rejected. Additionally, all approved day permits for day travel on Thursday, Dec. 17, will be voided. Emergency moves will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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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