Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced Monday that many of the major arteries leading in and out of Philadelphia would be closed due to Sandy’s strong winds.
The full length of I-95, I-676 and the Blue Route (the non-toll portion of I-476) closed at 7 p.m. and wouldn't reopen until at least 4 a.m. Tuesday. I-76 from the Pa. Turnpike to Passayunk Avenue and the U.S. Route 1 extension in the city were also closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles.
“The path of the storm is expected to track directly across the Philadelphia area,” Corbett said a press conference Tuesday night.
All Delaware River Port Authority bridges (Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, Commodore Barry and Walt Whitman) also were closed until 4 a.m. and the PATCO High-Speed Line would remain closed through Tuesday morning, the DRPA announced.
Due to high winds, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes closed the Delaware River Bridge that links the two roadways.
The Platt Bridge was also closed.
The Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges re-opened to cars only at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The Burlington County Bridge Commission Police Department said that the bridge remained closed to trucks, trailers, motorcycles and RVs.
PennDOT had earlier reduced speeds to 45 mph on Interstates 95 and 76, along with Interstate 476 and 676 as of 10 a.m. Monday. The same restriction was also put in effect on the turnpike in Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties as well as other major roadways in and around Philadelphia area.
Fears that high winds could make travel dangerous also prompted officials to ban empty trucks and tractor trailers, tandem trailers, motorcycles and RVs from those same roadways.
Motorists are being urged to avoid any unnecessary travel as Hurricane Sandy approaches. The National Weather Service says winds up to 75 mph are possible at the storm's peak rainfall totals could approach 10 inches.