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PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE GEARS UP FOR JULY FOURTH HOLIDAY WEEKEND

 PHILADELPHIA, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Turnpike officials said they anticipate an excess of 900,000 vehicles traveling the Turnpike over the upcoming four-day holiday weekend.
 Safety Manager Clarence L. Wright Jr. noted that 945,279 vehicles used the Turnpike during the 1992 July Fourth holiday and more are expected this year.
 Travelers' safety is always top priority with Pennsylvania Turnpike officials. Capt. Russell L. Clanagan of the Turnpike's Police Troop T commented that patrols will be increased from 6 p.m. July 2 to midnight July 5. Troop T will patrol the Turnpike watching for drunk drivers and motorists who appear to be losing concentration because of drowsiness.
 Police will also be monitoring seat belt usage. "The use of seat belts significantly reduces injury and death," said Clanagan.
 Because motor carrier safety is also of a great concern on the Turnpike, checkpoints will be set up all along the road to inspect trucks traveling throughout the holiday period. "We inspect motor carriers all year, but we become even more vigilant during the holiday rush," Clanagan added.
 Safety advisors and extra maintenance crews will also be on duty during the holiday to aid disabled motorists. Turnpike motorists are advised to use one of two methods to obtain help when needed. Emergency call boxes line the Turnpike at one-mile intervals. With the push of a button, travelers can alert the Turnpike's communications center of their particular emergency. The call boxes are simple to use, with instructions printed on each unit. Cellular phone users can call "STAR-11" to summon emergency assistance, and the proper Turnpike service will come to the rescue.
 For travel-weary motorists, service plazas all along the Turnpike will offer a wide variety of snacks and meals from McDonald's, Hardee's, Arby's, Roy Rogers, Bob's Big Boy, Burger King, Sbarro, TCBY, Mrs. Field's Cookies, Nathan's, KFC Express, Taco Bell Express, Popeye's, King's Family Restaurants and brand new at Sideling Hill, Pretzel Time, featuring gourmet soft pretzels. Gifts, comfort facilities and service stations are available at all sites. Officials urge travelers to stop and take advantage of the service plazas along the Turnpike. Figures show that 40 percent of all accidents on the Turnpike are the result of loss of concentration by the driver. By taking a break at Turnpike services plazas, many accidents may be avoided.
 John A. Boschi, deputy executive director of Maintenance, added, "All maintenance activities will be scheduled to provide maximum use of the roadway during the Independence Day holiday period beginning Thursday, July 1, at 4:30 p.m. through 6 p.m. on July 6." All lanes in both directions will be available for traffic in construction areas with the exception of four miles of roadway on the Northeast Extension in Lackawanna County between milepost A99 and milepost A103, the Wyoming Valley Toll Plaza (No. 37) and the Clarks Summit Toll Plaza (No. 38). One northbound and one southbound lane of traffic will be available in this area.
 The following areas will have narrow lanes in construction areas over the holiday period:
 Exits Milepost Construction
 Beaver Valley (2) 15-19 Resurfacing
 Cranberry (3)
 Cranberry (3) 37-39 Bridge Rehabilitation
 Butler Valley (4)
 Allegheny Valley (5) 50-53 Bridge Rehabilitation
 Pittsburgh (6)
 Somerset (10) 138-148 Resurfacing
 Bedford (11)
 Bedford (11) 156-162 Resurfacing
 Breezewood (12)
 Bedford (11) 166-174 Resurfacing
 Breezewood (12) (westbound only)
 Permits for over-dimensional vehicles will be withheld from sundown Thursday, July 1, to sunrise Tuesday, July 6. This restriction applies to vehicles exceeding 8-1/2 feet in width, 76 feet in length, 13-1/2 feet in height, and 100,000 pounds gross weight.
 /delval/
 -0- 6/30/93
 /CONTACT: Kay Rew of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, 215-279-1645/


CO: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:

CC-MK -- PH019 -- 7256 06/30/93 14:55 EDT
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Date:Jun 30, 1993
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