BLOG: PennDOT, Turnpike 70 mph Zones Expand with Eye on Safety
By: Leslie S. Richards, Secretary of Transportation
May 04, 2016
We made a major announcement this week, alongside the Turnpike Commission: 70 mph speed limits have been added to 396 additional miles of the Turnpike and 400 additional miles of certain PennDOT highways.
Taking this step followed thorough analysis on geometry, engineering, crash data, regional factors and preliminary results from pilot locations. And moving forward we’ll continue monitoring our original pilot locations along with these new 70 mph sections, keeping safety top of mind.
Drivers should also know that this boost for traffic flow wasn’t just made possible by Act 89, the state’s transportation funding plan. Each road seeing the 70 mph speed was designed to handle that speed or higher.
As with any type of weather and with any roadway speed, I urge all motorists to treat posted speed limits as speed maximums, not minimums – that’s the case whether the limit is 35 mph or 70 mph.
This applies especially in work zones where men and women may be working just inches away from traffic. Obey the speed limits posted for these work zones – these people all deserve to get home safely.
Here are the PennDOT roadways being posted with the new limit over the next few days (including current pilot areas):
- I-79 from I-90 in Erie County south to a point just north of the PA 228 interchange in Butler County (97 miles)
- I-79 from I-70 in Washington County south to the West Virginia border (33 miles)
- I-80 from the Ohio State border east to a point near mile marker 190 in Clinton County (190 miles)
- I-80 from a point near mile marker 195 in Union County to a point near mile marker 247 in Columbia County (52 miles)
- US 15 from the interchange with PA 14 in Lycoming County north to the New York State border (49 miles)
- I-99 from Exit No. 68 in Centre County south to a point near mile marker 34 in Blair County (34 miles)
- I-99 from Exit No. 28 in Blair County south to mile marker 0 (PA Turnpike) in Bedford County (28 miles)
- I-380 from I-84 in Lackawanna County south to Exit No. 3 in Monroe County (21 miles)
The Turnpike speed limit has been 70 mph on a 97-mile stretch in south-central Pennsylvania between the Blue Mountain and Morgantown interchanges since the summer of 2014. All remaining sections of the PA Turnpike system that are now posted at 65 mph — including Turnpike extensions in southwestern PA — will be signed for 70 mph this week. Areas of the PA Turnpike now posted at 55 mph will remain at 55 mph.
Combined with the 201 combined miles of Turnpike and PennDOT roadways already at 70 mph since July 2014, this move makes 997 total 70 mph miles of roadway in the state.
That being said, with the summer travel season fast approaching, let’s all drive safely on every Pennsylvania roadway.
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