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Development & Transportation

500K Vehicles Expected on PA Turnpike Today

If you will be traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you’ll have company….lots of company.

The Turnpike Commission expects 2.7 million vehicles using the toll road from Tuesday until Monday December 1.

“The day before Thanksgiving is our single busiest travel holiday of the year,” says Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo. “We’re expecting more than a half million vehicles (Wednesday) across the turnpike system. “

Traffic volumes are expected to be heaviest between 3 and 8 pm Wednesday and Sunday from noon to 8 pm.  “With bad weather in the forecast, we’re encouraging, in fact, we’re urging people to slow down, use extra caution this year, and be ready  to alter your plans if necessary,” DeFebo says.

The National Weather Service is forecasting snow in the south central part of Pennsylvania with as much as six inches of snow expected in the  Altoona, Johnstown, Chambersburg and McConnellsburg areas and up to eight inches of snow in Bedford Wednesday into Thanksgiving. 

“Certainly our plows will be on the side of the road,” says DeFebo, “so we can begin plowing and salting immediately.”

And if it is snowing and crews are trying to clear the roadway, DeFebo urges motorists not to pass snowplows. “ There’s a visibility issue in front of the plows, and also the roadway is untreated ahead of those plows.  So you’re going to encounter snow and ice; it never pays to pass plows.”

DeFebo says to keep updated on turnpike conditions consider using the TripTalk smartphone app or going to for travel maps.