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Travel restrictions on big rigs announced ahead of major winter storm

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Travel restrictions on big rigs announced ahead of major winter storm
A powerful winter storm that’s expected to produce blizzard conditions Friday and Saturday.

BOSTON  — A powerful winter storm that’s expected to produce blizzard conditions Friday and Saturday is prompting people in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. to prepare for snow, wind and colder temperatures.

Heavy snow and strong winds were forecasted to begin in parts of the Carolinas and Appalachia on Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

The system will then intensify as a nor’easter off the East Coast and bring similar conditions farther north on Saturday. Localized snowfall totals of up to 20 inches were possible, the weather service said.

Officials also said wind-blown snow could make travel “nearly impossible.”

Colder forecast temperatures after the storm mean dangerous wind chills are possible Saturday night.

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti issued a commercial vehicle travel restriction on multiple Interstate highways in New Jersey starting at 5 p.m. Friday.

In addition, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a State of Emergency for the entire state beginning at 5 p.m. Friday.

The commercial vehicle travel restriction will begin at 5 p.m. Friday and will be in place until further notice for the following highways in both directions:

  • I-76, entire length from the Walt Whitman Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to Route 42
  • I-78, entire length from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
  • I-80, entire length from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
  • I-195, entire length from I-295 to NJ Route 138
  • I-280, entire length from I-80 to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
  • I-287, entire length from NJ Route 440 to the New York State border
  • I-295, entire length from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the Scudders Falls Bridge (Pennsylvania  border)
  • I-676, from the Ben Franklin Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to I-76
  • NJ Route 440, from the Outerbridge Crossing to I-287

The commercial vehicle travel restriction applies to:

  • All tractor trailers (exceptions as listed in the Administrative Order)
  • Empty straight CDL-weighted trucks
  • Passenger vehicles pulling trailers
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Motorcycles

This restriction DOES NOT apply to:

  • The New Jersey Turnpike
  • The Garden State Parkway
  • The Atlantic City Expressway

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. Officials are advising truckers not to park on shoulders.

CONNECTICUT RESTRICTIONS

Gov. Ned Lamont said during a news conference on Friday that a tractor-trailer highway ban will go into effect at 6 a.m. Saturday. The governor asked for everyone to use common sense and stay home and off the roads.

DELAWARE RESTRICTIONS

The state of Delaware has issued a Level 2 driving restriction for Kent and Sussex counties and a Level 1 Driving Warning for New Castle County beginning at 10 p.m. Friday.

The Level 2 Driving Restriction (Kent and Sussex counties) means that no person may operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways, except for persons designated as “essential personnel.” Travel on roadways is restricted to certain state employees, emergency workers, first responders, health care workers, utility workers, snow removal operators, private sector food and fuel deliveries and individuals already approved through the state’s Emergency Driving Waiver program.

The Level 1 Driving Warning (New Castle County) means drivers should avoid traveling on roadways, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

MASSACHUSETTS RESTRICTIONS

Tractor-trailers will be restricted from all state roads from 6 a.m. Saturday to 12 a.m. Sunday.

NEW YORK RESTRICTIONS

As of 8 p.m. Friday, a 45 mile-per-hour advisory speed limit will be implemented, and trucks will be restricted to the right lane only on the Long Island Expressway.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. through 6 p.m. Saturday, all empty tractor-trailers and tandem trailers will be prohibited due to anticipated high winds. Avoid unnecessary travel.

Facilities:

  • Marine Parkway Bridge
  • Cross Bay Bridge
  • Verrazano Narrows Bridge
  • Robert F Kennedy Bridge
  • Bronx Whitestone Bridge
  • Throgs Neck Bridge

PENNSYLVANIA RESTRICTIONS

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are planning to implement temporary vehicle restrictions Friday on interstates across east-central and southeast Pennsylvania.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Tier 4 vehicle restrictions will be in place on the following interstates:

  • I-80 from I-380 to the New Jersey state line
  • I-78 from I-476 to the New Jersey state line

On roadways with Level 4 restrictions in place, no commercial vehicles are permitted. 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.

Beginning at 5 p.m., Tier 3 vehicle restrictions will be in place on the following interstate:

  • I-295 from I-95 to the New Jersey state line

Beginning at 8 p.m., Tier 3 vehicle restrictions will be in place on the following interstates:

  • I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from the New Jersey state line to PA Turnpike
  • I-95 from the Delaware state line to New Jersey state line
  • I-276 full length
  • I-476 from I-95 to I-78
  • I-676 full length

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.

RHODE ISLAND RESTRICTIONS

Tractor-trailers will be restricted from all roads beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday through 12 a.m. Sunday.

For travel conditions in Connecticut, click here.

For travel conditions in Delaware, click here.

For travel conditions in Rhode Island, click here.

For travel conditions in New York, click here.

For travel conditions in Massachusetts, click here.

For travel conditions in New Jersey, click here.

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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