PennDOT: Commercial vehicle ban removed from some interstates and expressways


The Pennsylvania commercial vehicle ban was lifted on some interstates and expressways Saturday afternoon.

According to PennDot, this removes the ban of traffic from the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline from the Ohio state line to the New Jersey state line. This also affects interstates south and west of the Turnpike, Interstate 70 in Washington and Westmoreland counties, I-79, I-129, I-579 and I-376.

The lift is due to a reduction in the anticipated severity of the winter storm on Saturday.

There is still a ban in effect for many interstates, the northeast extention of the turnpike, the U.S. 22 expressway in the Lehigh Valley and the Pennsylvania Route 33 expressway in Northampton and Monroe counties.

The ban, which went into affect at noon, includes all commercial vehicles. Tow-truck operators can still perform their duties for motorists, PennDOT said.

There is a 45-mph speed restriction in place on I-80 from the Ohio state line to I-89. There is also a speed restriction on I-376 in Mercer and Lawrence counties, I-90, I-86 and I-79. 

Earlier on Saturday, truck driver Larry Johnson planned on staying at the Mahoning Valley Service Plaza on the Ohio Turnpike.

He was driving commercial trucks in the Valley for work, which he has been doing for over three decades. 

He lives in Virginia and to get there, you have to pass through Pennsylvania. His father passed away last week and missed the first memorial due to driving. 

“I’m guess I’m going to miss this one too. Sad thing, you know. Just sad timing all around,” Johnson said.

Despite the bad news for him and his family, Johnson understands why the ban was put in place.

“It could turn bad quick. You can’t predict it. Better safe than sorry.”

Forty-year commercial truck driving veteran Ron Baird was on his way to Pennsylvania from Indianapolis.

He didn’t think he would finishing driving by this afternoon prior to the ban lifting.

“I think we can keep on schedule with everything, so it’s not too bad,” Baird said.

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