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Pennsylvania Turnpike logo.svg
No image wide.svgFuture plate blue.svg
I-70.svgI-76.svgI-276.svgI-95.svg
Pennsylvania Turnpike (Mainline)
Length: 359.6 mi[1] (578.7 km)
Formed: October 1940
West end: I-76 / Ohio Tpk. at Ohio state line
Major
junctions:
I-79 / US 19 near Pittsburgh
I-376 / US 22 near Pittsburgh
I-70 / PA 66 / US 119 near New Stanton
I-99 / US 220 near Bedford
I-70 / US 30 near Breezewood
I-81 / US 11 near Middlesex
I-83 near Harrisburg
I-76 near Valley Forge
I-476 near Plymouth Meeting
US 1 near Trevose
East end: I-95 / NJ Turnpike at New Jersey state line

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a toll highway system operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States. The turnpike system encompasses 532 miles (855 km) in three sections. Its main section, extending from the Ohio state line in the west to the New Jersey state line in the east, is 359 miles (578 km). Its Northeast Extension, extending from Plymouth Meeting in the southeast to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton in the northeast, is 110 miles (177 km). Its various access segments in Western Pennsylvania total 62 miles (100 km).

The highway serves most of Pennsylvania's major urban areas. The main east/west section serves the Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia areas, while its Northeastern Extension serves the Allentown/Bethlehem and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre areas.

This 360-mile (580 km) highway allows an optional way of paying called E-ZPass, in which tolls are paid electronically through a transponder attached to the car behind its rear-view mirror or attached to the front bumper.

Contents

Route numbers

Interstate 276 westbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Whitemarsh Township.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is part of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, and is signed with the following route numbers:

  • Interstate 76. Interstate 76 comprises the majority of the system, starting at the turnpike's western terminus at the Ohio state line. Interstate 70 joins the turnpike at New Stanton, Exit 75, and runs concurrently with Interstate 76 until leaving the turnpike at Breezewood, Exit 161 (the only other tolled section of I-70 is on the Kansas Turnpike). This section is internally known as State Route 7076.[2]
  • Interstate 276. Interstate 76 leaves the turnpike mainline at Valley Forge/Philadelphia, Exit 326. At that point, the turnpike becomes Interstate 276 for 32.65 mi (52.55 km)[3] until it meets with a spur of the New Jersey Turnpike at the turnpike's eastern terminus at the Delaware River. Some maps have the I-276 shield on the New Jersey Turnpike extension. This section is internally known as State Route 7276.[2]
  • Interstate 476. The Northeast Extension, which meets the turnpike mainline at milepost 333.5 (the interchange is designated as Exit-20, the milepost marker for I-476), is signed as part of Interstate 476. This section was originally signed as Pennsylvania Route 9 before redesignation in the 1990s. This section is internally known as State Route 7476.[2]
  • Interstate 95. The turnpike mainline now crosses Interstate 95 but does not have a direct connection to that route, although an interchange is being constructed in this area. Once the Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project northeast of Philadelphia is completed, the section of the turnpike east of that interchange (now Interstate 276) will be redesignated as Interstate 95.

Toll system

Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll Ticket at Warrendale (Exit 30). Shows toll prices for eastbound Class 1 vehicles (two-axle cars without trailers) from April 2006.

The majority of the turnpike is operated as a ticket system toll road, in which a driver receives a paper ticket on entry and pays on exit, with the fare pre-calculated based on entrance and exit points.

If a motorist loses their ticket, the highest fare to the exit where that motorist leaves the Turnpike will be charged and a receipt issued. If the ticket is later found, the motorist may send the ticket and receipt to the Turnpike Commission for a refund of the excess fare.

Most of the system's access points are simple "trumpet" interchanges, with a toll barrier located between the interchange and the local connector road. Between 1957 and 1997, the road had three "mainline" barrier plazas, one at Gateway (at the Pennsylvania/Ohio state line), connecting to the Ohio Turnpike, one at the Delaware River Bridge near Bristol Township, where the turnpike crosses the Delaware River and connects with the New Jersey Turnpike, and one on the Northeastern Extension at Clarks Summit, where it connects with Interstate 81 near Scranton.

In 1992, the new Mid-County interchange opened, connecting Interstate 476 with the main trunk of the Turnpike. It doubles as a mainline and interchange barrier. In 2002, the Gateway barrier was converted to an all-cash plaza. And, since January 2, 2006, only eastbound motorists are charged - westbound motorists no longer have to pay a toll (similar to the one-way tolls on the Garden State Parkway). In addition, a new mainline barrier, at Warrendale, was added. With the opening of the new Warrendale barrier, the Turnpike between Gateway and Warrendale is toll-free and gives motorists direct access to the James E. Ross Highway, Interstate 79, and two local roads. A similar approach was used between the Wyoming Valley interchange and Clarks Summit on the Northeastern Extension, allowing for the construction of the Keyser Avenue interchange, along with a new coin-drop booth north of the exit. This will also be implemented when the Turnpike/Interstate 95 exit is completed in Bristol Township allowing I-95 to access the Turnpike with a high-speed interchange.

Fares range from a low as $1.00 from one exit to the next, to as much as over $30 in long distance travel. As of March 2010, the fare for a two-axle automobile traveling the entire Turnpike eastbound from the Warrendale Gate to the end of the Turnpike at the Delaware River Bridge into New Jersey, a distance of 329 miles (529 km), costs $29.35, or by traveling from Warrendale to the Wyoming Valley exit near the end of the Northeast Extension, a distance of 409 miles (658 km), costs $33.20. A three percent toll increase went into effect on January 3, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.[4]

E-ZPass is accepted in designated lanes at all toll plazas. The Virginia Drive exit near Fort Washington is accessible only to E-ZPass customers. In addition, the proposed Great Valley interchange near Malvern and the Philadelphia Park interchange near Bensalem are expected to be E-ZPass-only.

Emergency assistance

The turnpike is equipped with a callbox at each mile for its entire length. Motorists may also dial *11 on their mobile phones. First responder services are available to all turnpike customers via the State Farm Safety Patrol program.[5]

History

Pennsylvania Turnpike as it appeared in July 1942

Construction on the Turnpike began in 1937 and was completed from Ohio to New Jersey in 1956. When the first section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in 1940, it was built to higher design standards and extended over a longer distance than any other limited-access divided highway in the United States. Before the war it was popularly known as the "tunnel highway" because of the seven mountain tunnels along its route.

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First section

The turnpike was partially constructed on an unused railroad grade constructed for the aborted South Pennsylvania Railroad project, and six of its seven original tunnels (all tunnels with the exception of the Allegheny Mountain tunnel) were first bored for that railroad. The construction began in the 1880s but was never completed. A combined total of 4.5 miles (7.2 km) of tunnel had been dug through seven mountains.[6]

Rays Hill Tunnel during construction of the railroad tunnel in the 1880s. Andrew Carnegie is present in the middle of the image

Proposals to use the grade and tunnels for a toll road were made starting in late 1934. The road would bypass the steep grades on Pennsylvania's existing major east–west highways – US 22 (William Penn Highway) and US 30 (Lincoln Highway) – and offer a high-speed four lane route free of cross traffic. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was created by law on May 21, 1937, and construction began October 27, 1938 with the removal of water from the unfinished tunnels. The 160-mile (260 km) roadway took 770,000 tons of sand, 1,200,000 tons of stone, 50,000 tons of steel, and more than 300,000 tons of cement to complete.[6] It was built at a cost of $370,000 per mile.[7]

In October 1, 1940 the first section of Turnpike opened, running from US 11 near Carlisle (southwest of Harrisburg) west to US 30 at Irwin (east of Pittsburgh). As built, the majority of the road was four lanes, but it narrowed to one lane in each direction for the seven tunnels (the South Pennsylvania had begun work on nine, but two – the Quemahoning Tunnel and Negro Mountain Tunnel – were bypassed by the Turnpike). Despite the existence of the railroad right-of-way, much of the new Turnpike was built on a new, straighter alignment, as engineering had progressed much since the days of the railroad.

Unlike earlier parkways, mostly in the New York City area, which were restricted to cars, the Turnpike allowed all traffic. Like the German Autobahn on which it was loosely based, there was no enforced speed limit on most of the road—some cars could travel at 100 mph (160 km/h) and traverse the entire 160 mile (256 km) original segment in less than two hours. The phenomenon of highway hypnosis began to afflict motorists on some of the long, straight segments —- especially on the 21 mile (34 km) section of Turnpike between the Blue Mountain Tunnel and the eastern terminus at Carlisle.

A speed limit of 70 mph (115 km/h) for passenger cars was enacted on April 15, 1941, with a speed limit of 50–65 mph (80–105 km/h) for trucks based on weight, and speed limits of 35 mph (60 km/h) in tunnels and 45 mph (75 km/h) on bridges. During World War II, the Turnpike adopted the national speed limit of 35 mph (60 km/h).[8] In the 1950s, the speed limit was reduced to 65 mph (105 km/h) for all vehicles, and again reduced to 55 mph (88 km/h) in 1974 when the federal government enacted a national speed limit. The speed limit was once again raised to 65 mph in 1995, but did not cover the Delaware River extension or the Northeast Extension. Those two segments were restored to a 65 mph speed limit several years later.

Expansion

With the success of the original 160 mile (256 km) segment, the Turnpike Commission planned to expand the original turnpike to a cross-state route, connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with a high-speed route. This was shelved with the onset of World War II, but with the war's end, the Turnpike Commission resumed construction.

Philadelphia Extension

The Philadelphia Extension extended the turnpike east to King of Prussia near Philadelphia and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The first phase of that expansion made the highway slightly longer, stretching it to US 15 near Harrisburg. That section opened on February 1, and the rest of the expansion, east to King of Prussia, opened on November 20, 1950. At that time the old mainline toll booth and interchange at Carlisle was closed, and the Middlesex interchange, at the old east end at US 11, was reconfigured and renamed as the Carlisle interchange. The original eastern end of the Philadelphia Extension ended at what is now the present-day interchange with Interstate 76 and U.S. Highway 202.

Western Extension

Westbound Pennsylvania Turnpike approaching the Pittsburgh interchange (I-376/US 22).

The first piece of the Western Extension, from Irwin to US 22 at Monroeville, east of Pittsburgh, opened August 7, 1951. The remainder opened to traffic on December 26, 1951, taking the highway west almost to the Ohio state line. Traffic was diverted onto the two-lane Burkey Road just west of the western barrier toll for almost three years until a connection with the Ohio Turnpike connection opened. The interchange with Pennsylvania Route 18 at Homewood was not completed until March 1, 1952. The turnpike connected with Youngstown, Ohio, after the first section of the Ohio Turnpike opened on December 1, 1954.

Delaware River Extension

The Delaware River Extension opened on August 23, 1954 to Pennsylvania Route 611 at Willow Grove, and the intermediate Fort Washington interchange with PA 309 opened September 20. Extensions opened October 27 to U.S. 1 near Trevose and November 17 to US 13 near Bristol Township. The final piece opened on May 23, 1956 with the completion of the Delaware River – Turnpike Toll Bridge, which connected to a short spur of the New Jersey Turnpike. The highway, originally designated as Interstate 280 when the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Ohio state line and Valley Forge was I-80S, received its present number in 1964 when I-80S became I-76.

Northeast Extension

The Northeast Extension, from the Mid-County Interchange northwest of Philadelphia north to Interstate 81 near Scranton, opened in stages from November 23, 1955 to November 7, 1957. This was the last segment of the Turnpike system to be built until the late 1980s. Formerly signed as Pennsylvania Route 9, in 1996 after the expansion of the Lehigh Tunnel to four lanes, the entire extension became part of Interstate 476 (continuing from the Chester-to-Plymouth Meeting freeway).

Other highways

Western expansions

Western extensions, that mostly serve the Pittsburgh Area were constructed from the 1990s until the present. The James E. Ross Highway and the Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass were completed by 1994, and the James J. Manderino Highway, a West Virginia-to-Pittsburgh route, (Mon/Fayette Expressway) is approximately 50% completed with the last major link to Pittsburgh under design. The first section of the Pittsburgh Southern Beltway (from the Mon/Fayette Expressway to the Pittsburgh International Airport) has been completed and is open to traffic. Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for the two remaining sections are in preparation

Competing highways

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission originally proposed a statewide system of additional toll highways, but these plans were rendered unnecessary with the inception of the U.S. Interstate Highway system in 1956. A toll-free east–west competitor – Interstate 80 – opened on August 29, 1970 across northern Pennsylvania, forming a route that was more direct for New York–Chicago traffic. In 2007, however, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania leased Interstate 80 to the Turnpike Commission. Under this lease agreement, this would have allowed the Turnpike Commission to convert Interstate 80 to a toll highway.[9][10] However, on September 11, 2008, the Federal Highway Administration rejected Pennsylvania's application to toll Interstate 80.[11]

2004 Teamsters strike

On November 24, 2004, two thousand Teamsters Union employees of the Pennsylvania Turnpike went on strike, after contract negotiations failed. This was the day before Thanksgiving, usually one of the busiest traffic days in the United States. To keep the turnpike open, tolls were waived for the remainder of the day.[12] Starting on November 25, flat-rate passenger tolls of $2 and commercial tolls of $15 were collected from cash customers on the ticketed system by management staff of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. E-ZPass customers were charged the lesser of the actual toll or the same flat rates.[13] This represented a substantial discount for many travelers, who would normally have to pay $19.75 to travel along the full length of the main east–west route in a passenger car, and between $29 and $794, depending on vehicle weight class, to cross the state in a commercial vehicle.[14] The strike only lasted seven days, with an agreement reached on November 30. Normal toll collection resumed December 1.[15]

The "Tunnel Highway"

The west portal of the Blue Mountain Tunnel's eastbound tube.

After it opened as the nation's first superhighway, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was popularly known as the "Tunnel Highway". Postcards and other souvenirs promoted this name because, immediately after opening, the original stretch of the turnpike sported seven tunnels through Pennsylvania's Appalachian Mountains.[16] These tunnels, in order of east to west, bored through Blue Mountain, Kittattiny Mountain, Tuscarora Mountain, Sideling Hill, Ray's Hill, Allegheny Mountain, and Laurel Hill.

Modernization

While the highway was built as a four-lane, limited-access highway, the seven tunnels each held only two travel lanes. Traffic was squeezed from four lanes to two at each tunnel portal, and traffic proceeded through each tunnel without being divided from oncoming traffic. By the 1960s, this situation was creating long delays at each tunnel bottleneck. To alleviate this overcrowding, the turnpike commission studied ways to either expand or bypass each tunnel.

The result of this project was the "twinning" (construction of a second, parallel, two-lane tunnel) of four tunnels, and the outright bypass and closure of the other three. The Blue, Kittattiny, Tuscarora, and Allegheny Mountain Tunnels were expanded through the construction of new tunnels identical to the original tunnels in design, construction methods (dynamite and wooden supports), and length. After the second tunnels were completed at each location, the original tunnels were temporarily closed for rehabilitations that included upgrades in forced air ventliation and lighting systems.

The Sideling Hill, Rays Hill, and Laurel Hill tunnels were closed and bypassed. The adjacent Sideling Hill and Rays Hill tunnels were replaced with one stretch of highway that climbed over those mountains, while the Laurel Hill Tunnel was bypassed with a long rock cut through the mountain. The three bypassed tunnels are still in existence.

The 13-mile (21 km) stretch that contained the Sideling Hill and Rays Hill Tunnels are now part of a popular tourist attraction known as the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, most of which was sold to Southern Alleghenies Conservancy in 2001. The Laurel Hill stretch, which is much shorter at about 2 miles (3.2 km), is still owned by the PTC and trespassing is prohibited.

Lehigh Tunnel

The Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike contains the Lehigh Tunnel, a 4,461-foot (1,360 m) tunnel through Blue Mountain. The tunnel was named "Lehigh Tunnel" so as not to cause confusion with the existing Blue Mountain tunnel on the mainline. The tunnel was originally to be named for Turnpike Commission chairman Thomas J. Evans, but this was changed due to his July 25, 1967 conviction for conspiracy to defraud the Turnpike Commission of $19 million.[17]

The Lehigh Tunnel was originally a two-lane tunnel, in the manner of the highway's original seven tunnels, until it was "twinned" in the early 1990s. The new Lehigh Tunnel is the only tunnel built by the Turnpike Commission using the New Austrian Tunnelling method. With this method, tunnels are built using a special machine resembling a large electric razor blade, guided by lasers. The tunneled area is reinforced with shotcrete, a slurry mixture, as it is bored, eliminating the need for wooden supports. Because of the new construction, the new tube, which is round, contrasts sharply with the original rectangular tube, which was carved by the older dyamite blasting method.

Allegheny Tunnel modernization

West portal, Allegheny Mountain Tunnel

The Allegheny Mountain Tunnel, currently the longest active tunnel complex on the entire Turnpike system (only the bypassed Sideling Hill Tunnel was longer), and the only one of the original seven mainline tunnels not to have been originally bored for the aborted South Pennsylvania Railroad project, is currently the most problematic tunnel for the turnpike. In 1996, the turnpike commission began a study on how to address this tunnel, which was suffering from a low traffic capacity and deterioration. The study recommended that a bypass (known as the "Brown Cut") be blasted through the adjacent mountain, but a high price tag and opposition from landowners and environmental groups shelved this project. The commission is currently realigning the approach roads to the tunnel while examining more acceptable ways to address the capacity and age-related issues of the tunnels.

Aborted extensions and expansions

Soon after the mainline was built, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission proposed a number of extensions as part of a 1,000 mile (1,600 km) Turnpike network. These plans were dropped in the mid-1950s in favor of the Interstate Highway System. The proposed network included the following:

Although the extensions were dropped, the commission also looked into a major expansion project in the early 1970s in which the east–west mainline would be expanded into a "dual-dual" eight-lane highway similar to that of the New Jersey Turnpike between Monroe Township (near Jamesburg) and Newark. With the dual-dual configuration, the inner two lanes would be car-only lanes while the outer lanes would be for trucks, buses, and trailers.

The dual-dual would have required major realignments, similar to that of the Sideling Hill relocation, but most of the original infrastructure would have remained intact in most places. This plan was dropped by 1976, but since 1980, most of the original plan was implemented on a smaller scale. Truck climbing lanes were built on the Allegheny Ridge and Sideling Hill, and the roadway was expanded to six lanes between the Valley Forge and Philadelphia exits. The six-lane configuration was planned or in the process of being constructed between the proposed Great Valley Slip Ramp and Norristown, between Philadelphia and the New Jersey Turnpike, and on the Northeast Extension between Mid-County and Lansdale.

Current events

Today, the Turnpike is controlled by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, handles over 172 million vehicles per year, and employs nearly 2,200 people.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is currently reconfiguring and expanding the Turnpike to meet modern traffic needs. Parts of the original Irwin-Carlisle section are being rebuilt with new roadbeds (using the original concrete and later macadam paving), and long-duration "Superpave" macadam asphalt (similar to a process used on I-95 in Delaware between U.S. Highway 202 and the Pennsylvania State Line in 2000), new interchanges, and overpasses, the latter two being done well in advance of any major upgrade projects.

A project to expand the highway from four to six lanes between Norristown and Valley Forge is now complete, making the entire length of the turnpike between the Valley Forge and Bensalem (formerly Philadelphia) interchanges six lanes.[18] The completion of the entire I-95/Turnpike exit (along with the building of the paralleling Turnpike Connector Bridge) will bring the entire Delaware River Extension to six lanes.

A similar six-lane expansion began in 2008 for the Northeast Extension, between its junction in Plymouth Meeting to the Lansdale interchange in Kulpsville; another expansion is planned on the mainline turnpike between Valley Forge and the Downingtown interchange, the westernmost of the turnpike's Philadelphia suburban interchanges. Some of the bridges between Valley Forge and Downingtown have already been widened.

The Virginia Drive "slip ramp" off the westbound Pennsylvania Turnpike in Fort Washington, which is for E-ZPass tagholders only.

Other projects include building unmanned "slip ramps" between existing interchanges. One has been built (for E-Z Pass tagholders only[19]) near Fort Washington (Virginia Drive), and several others are planned.

On Memorial Day weekend 2005, the Pennsylvania Turnpike system became the first highway system in Pennsylvania to have a 65 mph (105 km/h) speed limit on the entire length (except for the tunnels themselves, and the winding 5.5-mile (9 km) eastern approach to the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel) of both the mainline turnpike and the Northeast Extension. This is the first time since the mandated 55 mph (88 km/h) speed limit was implemented in 1974 that a motorist can cross the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at 65 mph (105 km/h) without having to travel at lower speeds for extended periods.

The PA Turnpike Commission is currently seeking approval to add Interstate 80 to the turnpike system and thus apply a toll to the highway.[20]

Future slip ramp locations

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is considering several E-ZPass only slip ramps along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. These locations include PA Route 29 near milemarker 319 in East Whiteland Township, Chester County to serve the Great Valley Corporate Center near Malvern.[21], Lafayette Street & U.S. 202 near milemarker 331 near Bridgeport and Norristown in Montgomery County,[22] and PA Route 132 (Street Road) near milemarker 352 by the Philadelphia Park Racetrack in Bensalem Township, Bucks County.[23] The Norristown slip ramp is intended to help revitalize the downtown area of Norristown, is expected to cost $160 million, and will call for an extension of Lafayette Street to the new interchange. Montgomery County officials have proposed a surcharge for the new exit in order to help pay for the project.[24] The turnpike commission is also considering slip ramps near the New Stanton area as a part of the ongoing total reconstruction process going on between MP67 (IRWIN) and MP75 (New Stanton)[25] and in Carbon County on the Northeast Extension to provide access to PA Route 903 for Poconos traffic between the Mahoning Valley (74) and Pocono (95) interchanges.

Interchange with Interstate 95 project

Interstate 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike now cross each other without an interchange. This is related to (but not because of) a gap in Interstate 95 in New Jersey, where local opposition groups managed to stop construction of the Somerset Freeway through the area. Earlier laws, since lifted, only allowed federal funds to be used to build connections to toll roads "to a point where such project will have some use irrespective of its use for such toll road, bridge, or tunnel",[26] hence the lack of direct connections between the PA Turnpike and major north–south Interstates until the 1990s. Heading northbound from Pennsylvania into Ewing Township (by Trenton, New Jersey), Interstate 95 abruptly ends at its intersection with U.S. 1. From there, the highway is then signed as Interstate 295, and turns south. To continue on Interstate 95 northbound, one must travel south on Interstate 295 then east on Interstate 195 (or use a non-freeway section of U.S. 1) in order to reach the northern section of the New Jersey Turnpike, which is signed as Interstate 95.

A project[27] is currently planned to install a high speed interchange between the two highways. In addition to the new interchange, the PTC will expand the existing four-lane road to six lanes east of the Bensalem interchange (U.S. 1), build a new facility at milepost 353 to collect toll tickets, and convert the present Delaware River Bridge toll barrier, which currently collects tickets, to a westbound-only exact-change and high-speed E-ZPass facility. In addition, both the PTC and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority will build a twin parallel bridge over the Delaware River, with the NJTPA itself expanding the mainline Turnpike itself from its current six lanes to a dual-dual configuration like that found north of Monroe. This project will complete I-95 from Miami, Florida to Houlton, Maine. Construction is expected to start in early 2009 and will cost approximately $500 million.

Privatization

In November 2006, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and former Pennsylvania House Speaker John Perzel separately raised the idea of a long-term lease of the turnpike to a private group as a means of raising money to improve other infrastructure within the state, following examples of similar toll road lease arrangements in Illinois, Indiana, Texas, and Virginia. Although no plans are immediately in place, Rendell and Perzel have speculated that a lease of the system could bring anywhere from $2.5 to $30 billion to the state.[28]

This idea faced criticism from the legislature, and instead a plan was created to lease Interstate 80 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and place tolls on it to fund transportation. However, this plan faced opposition from many people in Northern Pennsylvania who feared tolls on I-80 would hurt the economy of the region, which led Rendell to revive the plan of leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In October 2007, 34 companies submitted 14 proposals to leasing the turnpike.[29] On May 19, 2008, the Spanish firm Abertis Infraestructuras, SA and Citi Infrastructure Investors of New York City submitted a record $12.8 billion proposal to lease the turnpike. It still faces approval by the state legislature.[30]

Service plaza updates

Sideling Hill service area

The PTC awarded HMSHost a 30-year contract for all of the service plazas in 2006.[31] As part of the deal, the plazas will be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up, starting with the Oakmont Service Plaza near Pittsburgh, which would reopen in time for the 2007 U.S. Open Golf Championship at Oakmont Country Club. Most of the plazas had been standing since the Turnpike opened in 1940 and had not been remodeled since Howard Johnson's left the Turnpike in the 1980s. As of 2010, the Oakmont, North Somerset, Sideling Hill, & New Stanton plazas along the mainline and the Allentown Service Plaza along the Northeast Extension have been rebuilt.

The King of Prussia Service Plaza on the main line & the Hickory Run Service Plaza on the Northeast Extension are currently under construction. Before the agreement, HMSHost had the bulk of the plazas, while McDonald's had five and Arby's had the plaza at Oakmont. Philadelphia-based Sunoco remains the fuel supplier along the Turnpike.

The deal led to the closing of 3 of the 21 plazas. The south Neshaminy Service Plaza near Philadelphia was closed and razed as part of the Philadelphia Park Raceway casino slip ramp project, while the Hempfield service plaza was closed due to its close proximity to the New Stanton exit and the PTC needing to widen the roadway for the exit. The Zelienople Service Plaza closed on November 15, 2008 due to lack of business, since it was located on what is now the "free" stretch of the Turnpike from the Ohio state line to Cranberry Township, thus allowing motorists to easily leave and re-enter this section of the Turnpike without having to travel through a toll plaza.

Radio broadcasts

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission broadcasts current roadway, traffic, and weather conditions via "Highway Advisory Radio" transmitters at each exit. The broadcasts are available on AM 1640 and can be heard approximately two miles away from each exit.[32] The broadcast callsign is WPNX700 [33].

Exit list

Until October 25, 2000, exit numbers were numbered in sequence. On that day, mile-based exit numbers were added, and the old numbers were moved onto smaller "old exit" tabs. This was done at the same time the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) did a similar upgrade on all of the state's Interstate Highways.

For exits on the Northeast Extension, see Interstate 476.

County Location Mile[34] #[35] Name Destinations Notes
Old New
Lawrence North Beaver Township 1.4 1 2 Gateway Gateway Toll Plaza - $3.95 flat toll for two-axle vehicles travelling eastbound.
Beaver Big Beaver 9.4 1A 10 New Castle I-376New Castle, Pittsburgh Still signed as Toll PA 60
Homewood 12.8 2 13 Beaver Valley PA 18Ellwood City, Beaver Falls
Butler Cranberry Township 28.4 3 28 Cranberry I-79 / US 19Erie, Pittsburgh
Allegheny Warrendale 30.0 41 30 Warrendale Toll plaza (west end of ticket system)
Richland Township 39.1 4 39 Butler Valley PA 8Butler, Pittsburgh
Cheswick 47.7 5 48 Allegheny Valley PA 28Pittsburgh, New Kensington
Monroeville 56.6 6 57 Pittsburgh I-376 / US 22Pittsburgh, Monroeville
Westmoreland Irwin 67.4 7 67 Irwin US 30Greensburg, Irwin, McKeesport Original exit 1
New Stanton 75.5 8 75 New Stanton I-70 west / US 119 / PA 66Greensburg, Wheeling Original exit 2
West end of I-70 overlap
Donegal 90.7 9 91 Donegal PA 31 / PA 711Ligonier, Uniontown Original exit 3
Laurel Hill Tunnel (bypassed)
Somerset
Somerset 109.9 10 110 Somerset US 219Johnstown, Somerset Original exit 4
Stonycreek Township Allegheny Mountain Tunnel
Bedford Bedford 145.5 11 146 Bedford I-99 / US 220Bedford, Altoona, Johnstown Original exit 5
East Providence Township East end of I-70 overlap
161.4 12 161 Breezewood US 30 to I-70 east - Baltimore, Washington, Everett, Hancock Original exit 6
Rays Hill Tunnel (bypassed)
Fulton
Sideling Hill Tunnel (bypassed)
Dublin Township 179.5 13 180 Fort Littleton US 522McConnellsburg, Mount Union Original exit 7
Huntingdon No exits
Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel
Franklin
Metal Township 188.6 14 189 Willow Hill PA 75 – Willow Hill, Fort Loudon Original exit 8
Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel
Lurgan Township Blue Mountain Tunnel
201.3 15 201 Blue Mountain PA 997Shippensburg, Chambersburg Original exit 9
Cumberland Carlisle 226.3 16 226 Carlisle I-81 / US 11Carlisle, Harrisburg, Chambersburg Original exit 11
Upper Allen Township 236.1 17 236 Gettysburg Pike US 15Gettysburg, Harrisburg
New Cumberland 242.0 18 242 Harrisburg West I-83York, Baltimore, Harrisburg
Dauphin Harrisburg 247.4 19 247 Harrisburg East I-283 / PA 283Harrisburg, Hershey
Lancaster Rapho Township 266.4 20 266 Lebanon–Lancaster PA 72Lebanon, Lancaster
East Cocalico Township 285.5 21 286 Reading US 222Reading, Lancaster
Berks Morgantown 296.3 22 298 Morgantown I-176 / PA 10Morgantown, Reading
Chester Uwchlan Township 312.0 23 312 Downingtown PA 100Pottstown, West Chester
Montgomery King of Prussia (Upper Merion Township) 326.3 24 326 Valley Forge I-76 east to US 202 / I-476Philadelphia, Valley Forge
East end of I-76 overlap; west end of I-276
Plymouth Meeting (Plymouth Township) 333.1 25 333 Norristown Norristown
I-476 north (Northeast Extension) – Allentown
25A 20 Mid-County I-476 south – Philadelphia, Chester Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Upper Dublin Township 338.5 26 339 Fort Washington PA 309Philadelphia, Ambler
26A[36] 340 Virginia Drive Westbound exit and entrance; E-ZPass only slip ramp. Exit toll calculated from Fort Washington; entrance toll calculated from Willow Grove.[37]
Upper Moreland Township 342.9 27 343 Willow Grove PA 611Doylestown, Jenkintown
Bucks Trevose (Bensalem Township) 351.3 28 351 Bensalem (Formerly Philadelphia) US 1Philadelphia, Trenton
Bristol Township Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project Under construction
357.7 29 358 Delaware Valley US 13Levittown, Bristol
359.0 30 359 Delaware River Bridge Toll plaza (east end of ticket system)

See also

References

  1. ^ "Toll/Mileage Calculator". Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. http://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "Penndot - Pennsylvania Stateroads 200901". Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. http://www.pasda.psu.edu/uci/MetadataDisplay.aspx?entry=PASDA&file=PaStateRoads2009_01.xml&dataset=54. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  3. ^ Route Log - Auxiliary Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 2
  4. ^ WYTV Website Accessed 2 Jan 2010
  5. ^ "TRIP - Turnpike Roadway Information Program". Paturnpike.com. http://www.paturnpike.com/tools/statefarm/info.html. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  6. ^ a b "The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike - Back in Time - Highway History - FHWA". Fhwa.dot.gov. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/back1007.cfm. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  7. ^ Schmitt, F.E. (January 5, 1939). "South Penn Experiment" (Google books). Engineering News-Record (New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Inc.) 122 (1). http://books.google.com/books?id=48ojAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 2008-12-28. "Tolls have been set high enough for the expected traffic to amortize its high cost—$370,000 per mile". 
  8. ^ PA Highways.com Turnpike page
  9. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. "Act 44 of 2007 (history)". http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BH/2007/0/HB1590.HTM. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  10. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Act 44 of 2007, http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2007&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1590&pn=2342 
  11. ^ "Federal Highway Administration press release, September 11, 2008". Fhwa.dot.gov. 2008-07-22. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa0820.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (2004-11-24). "Turnpike Union Workers Implement Statewide Walkout". http://www.paturnpike.com/news/2004/November/nr112404.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (2004-11-26). "Turnpike Officials Report Smooth Operations Despite Strike". http://www.paturnpike.com/news/2004/November/nr112604b.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. "Pennsylvania Turnpike Financial". http://www.paturnpike.com. http://www.paturnpike.com/geninfo/fastfacts/financial.aspx. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (2004-12-01). "Turnpike, Union Reach Accord Ending Seven-Day Strike". http://www.paturnpike.com/news/2004/December/nr120104.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  16. ^ Henry, Lowman S. (Summer 1998). "America's Tunnel Highway". Turnpike Traveler (Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission): p. 4. http://www.paturnpike.com/newsletters/summer98/page-4.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  17. ^ Kitsko, Jeffrey J.. "Pennsylvania Highways: Pennsylvania Turnpike". PAHighways.com. http://www.pahighways.com/toll/PATurnpike.html. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  18. ^ "PA Turnpike News Release". Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. http://www.paturnpike.com/news/2008/november/nr112508.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  19. ^ "Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Abandons Plans To Build Two Slip Ramps on Northeast Extension". Commission News Release. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. http://www.paturnpike.com/news/2002/Sep/nr092502.aspx. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  20. ^ "Pa. Turnpike Resubmits Tolling Application". http://www.paturnpike.com/I80/. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. "Route 29 Slip Ramp Project". http://www.paturnpike.com/ConstructionProjects/Route29_SlipRamp/home.html. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  22. ^ Montgomery County Pennsylvania Planning Commission. "Lafayette Street Corridor Project". http://planning.montcopa.org/planning/cwp/view,a,1458,q,54860.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  23. ^ Edwards and Kelcey (2005-09-14) (PDF), Design Advisory Committee Meeting #2, http://www.paturnpikei95.com/pdf/DACMeeting050914.pdf, retrieved 2007-08-20 
  24. ^ Mastrull, Diane. "Montco devises a novel pay plan" The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 9, 2008
  25. ^ Posted: 3:36 pm EDT April 4, 2007 (2007-04-04). "Turnpike Access Improvements Proposed In New Stanton - Traffic News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh". Wpxi.com. http://www.wpxi.com/traffic/11520469/detail.html. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  26. ^ "Why Does The Interstate System Include Toll Facilities?". Ask the Rambler. 2008-04-10. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/tollroad.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  27. ^ http://www.paturnpikei95.com/
  28. ^ http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/pa/index.ssf?/base/news-43/1164066244260360.xml&storylist=penn
  29. ^ Nussbaum, Paul. "Interest to lease turnpike is broad" The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 2, 2007
  30. ^ Nussbaum, Paul (May 20, 2008). "Top bid to lease turnpike is record". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20080520_Spanish_firm_submits_highest_turnpike_bid.html. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  31. ^ "PA Turnpike News Release". Paturnpike.com. http://www.paturnpike.com/news/2006/Sept/nr092506.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  32. ^ "HAR Transmissions Now Broadcast at Every PA Turnpike Interchange". Paturnpike.com. 2002-07-03. http://www.paturnpike.com/news/2002/Jul/nr070302a.aspx. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  33. ^ "PA Turnpike callsigns". radioreference.com. 2009-07-05. http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?action=fle&stid=42&en=Penna.%20Turnpike%20Comm.. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  34. ^ "Pennsylvania Turnpike Map (simplified)". Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. http://www.paturnpike.com/travelmap/simpmap.aspx. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  35. ^ "Pennsylvania Exit Numbering". Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/Interstate%20exit%20numbering1.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  36. ^ Hampton, Christina M. (December 2000). "First Turnpike Slip Ramps Open at Fort Washington". Turnpike Traveler (Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission): p. 8. http://www.paturnpike.com/newsletters/december00/page08.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  37. ^ "Toll Calculator". Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. http://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 

Further reading

  • Cupper, Dan, The Pennsylvania Turnpike: A History, Lebanon, PA: Applied Arts Publishers, 1990, 48pp, ISBN 0911410901

External links


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