PennDOT Urges Motorists to Exercise Caution in Coming Winter Weather Event

January 18, 2024

HARRISBURG, Pa. Ahead of anticipated snow across the state tonight into tomorrow, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm.

Additionally, the agencies will implement various speed and vehicle restrictions throughout the storm.

PennDOT and PTC crews are actively pre-treating roadways where necessary ahead of the storm to help prevent ice from forming a bond with the pavement during the early stages of a storm. However, salt does not resolve all risks, and drivers may encounter icy spots on the roadway. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form.

Restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website and smartphone apps. Motorists can also sign up for personalized alerts on the website.

The following vehicle restrictions will go into effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, Jan. 19, in accordance with the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:

  • Tier 1:
    • Interstate 80 from Ohio to Exit 173 (Logantown)
  • Tier 2:
    • PA Turnpike (I-70/76) from the Ohio Turnpike to the Carlisle Interchange (Exit 226), including PA Turnpike I-376, PA Turnpike 576, PA Turnpike 43 & PA Turnpike 66.
    • I-70 from West Virginia line to PA Turnpike (I-76)
    • I-70 from PA Turnpike (I-76) to Maryland line
    • I-79 from West Virginia to I-80
    • I-99, entire length
    • I-279, entire length
    • I-376, entire length
    • I-579, entire length

Further planned restrictions as of 3 AM on Friday, Jan. 19:

  • Tier 1:
    • I-80, entire length
  • Tier 2:
    • PA Turnpike (I-70/76) from Carlisle Interchange (Exit 226) throughout the entirety of the turnpike system (I-76/276) from I-95 to the New Jersey Turnpike and including the Northeastern Extension (I-476) south of Pocono Interchange (Exit A95).
    • I-76 from PA Turnpike to New Jersey
    • I-78, entire length
    • I-81 from Maryland line to I-80
    • I-83, entire length
    • I-95, entire length
    • I-176, entire length
    • I-295, entire length
    • I-476, PA Turnpike to I-95
    • I-676, entire length
    • U.S. 22 from I-78 to New Jersey
    • Route 33, entire length


 Under Tier 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 unloaded or lightly loaded cargo delivery trucks/box trucks that meet the definition of a CMV.
    • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers.
    • Recreational vehicles/motorhomes.
    • School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches.
    • Motorcycles.On roadways with Tier 2 restrictions in place, vehicles prohibited under Tier 1 are not permitted, as well as:
      • Commercial vehicles towing loaded tandem trailers without chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATDs).
      • All loaded or unloaded school buses, commercial buses, and motor coaches regardless of the availability of chains or ATDs.

PennDOT urges motorists to avoid travel if possible. If travel is necessary, use caution, reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions. If you are traveling on the PA Turnpike and find yourself in need of assistance, dial *11 on your cell phone. As needed, a staff member of the turnpike’s 24/7 operations center can then dispatch help to your location.

To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional X alerts.

Drivers should prepare or restock their emergency kits with items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication, and pet supplies.


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