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HOLIDAY SAFETY: PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE PRIORITY; MOTORISTS NEAR BREEZEWOOD CAN EXPECT MAJOR DELAYS

 HOLIDAY SAFETY: PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE PRIORITY;
 MOTORISTS NEAR BREEZEWOOD CAN EXPECT MAJOR DELAYS
 PITTSBURGH, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Motorists planning to travel in the vicinity of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Breezewood Interchange (No. 12) are strongly advised to seek alternative routing during the Memorial Day holiday.
 According to officials of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), construction work on U.S. 30 and I-70 near Breezewood is expected to create delays of one to three hours for travelers planning to enter or exit the Turnpike in this area. Otherwise, traveling on the Turnpike should be convenient, with four miles of single lane traffic on the Northeast Extension. Bridge rehabilitation is occurring between the Mahoning Valley (No. 34) and the Pocono (No. 35) interchanges, as well as between the Wyoming Valley (No. 37) and Scranton (No. 38) interchanges. The Wyoming Valley Interchange is also under construction.
 On the mainline Turnpike, four lanes will be open. Travelers can expect to find narrowed lanes due to construction between: Butler Valley (No. 4) and Allegheny Valley (No. 5); Pittsburgh (No. 6) and Irwin (No. 7); Willow Hill (No. 14) and Blue Mountain (No. 15); Downingtown (No. 23) and Valley Forge (No. 24), and in the area of the Scranton Interchange (No. 38) on the Northeast Extension.
 Because this is the first major holiday of the year, traffic nearly doubles, so Turnpike officials urge motorists to drive carefully and cautiously, especially in construction areas.
 Travelers are reminded that no fuel is available at the Allentown Service Plaza (Lehigh County) on the Northeast Extension and Bowmansville Service Plaza (Lancaster County) on the Turnpike mainline.
 John Boschi, deputy executive director of maintenance, stated, "Each maintenance section will schedule two additional men to patrol the road to provide added assistance for Turnpike patrons."
 The Pennsylvania State Police "Troop T" will be emphasizing child restraints and seat belt use. Capt. Russell L. Clanagan noted, "One of the yearly goals for the Pennsylvania State Police is a 20 percent increase in the enforcement of seat belts and child restraints. Although there has been limited enforcement in the past, we are making a sincere effort for seat belt safety."
 "We periodically check various interchanges to see if the children have their safety restraints on. We are also going to enforce the safety restraints when observed in conjunction with other traffic violations," added Clanagan.
 With a task force of 217 police officers, Troop T's goals for this holiday weekend, besides seat belt safety, are to enforce the 55 mph speed limit and to promote safe driving habits.
 Cellular phone emergency service and emergency call boxes are currently available system-wide on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Joseph Hawkins, director of communications, encouraged travelers in the Lehigh Tunnel area to tune in to AM 530. This highway advisory radio informs travelers with prerecorded messages pertaining to traffic conditions: accidents and backlogs, weather conditions and construction.
 "Extra radio operators will be on staff to handle the increase in traffic," Hawkins added. The operators are responsible for the State Police dispatches, call-box and cellular (asterisk 11) phone emergencies, and the 800-932-0586 emergency telephone calls.
 Turnpike safety advisors will be on duty through the heavy traffic days, Friday and Monday. C.L. Wright Jr., Pennsylvania Turnpike safety manager, reminded travelers that it is construction season. He cautioned, "Please heed the advance warnings on the signs, and observe the posted 40 mile-per-hour speed limit in construction zones."
 /delval/
 -0- 5/19/92
 /CONTACT: Clare E. Doran of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, 412-856-0886/ CO: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


MK-MP -- PH019 -- 1924 05/19/92 14:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 19, 1992
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