Pa. Turnpike expects 3.5% rise in Fourth holiday travel
Pennsylvania Turnpike officials expect more than 6 million motorists will travel on the toll road over an extended Independence Day holiday beginning Friday and continuing through July 7.
Lower prices at the pump are a likely factor in that predicted traffic figure, which represents a 3.5% jump from the same period last year, according to the turnpike.
“Friday afternoons are likely to be peak travel times, with many travelers starting out well in advance of the holiday or taking longer trips because the holiday falls on a Thursday,” Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said in a prepared statement.
Officials anticipate the turnpike will be most heavily traveled on the first day of the 10-day holiday, with 750,000 vehicles expected to drive on a portion of the system Friday.
Nearly as many — 725,000 — are expected to hit the toll road on Wednesday, followed by 655,000 on Tuesday and 625,000 each on Monday and July 5.
Turnpike travelers should expect slower going because of the heavier traffic and should plan their trip accordingly, Compton advised.
To help accommodate the increased number of vehicles, the turnpike will suspend maintenance and construction work and will have all available lanes open in each direction from 5 a.m. Friday through 11 p.m. July 7.
The turnpike also has created a new site offering motorists tools and tips to help ease summer travel on the toll road. Visit PATurnpike.com and click on Ramp Up for Summer Travel.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .