Pennsylvania Turnpike Officials Determined to Improve Management of Weather Emergencies

Pennsylvania Turnpike officials say they are looking for ways to better manage commercial traffic during weather emergencies following the massive snowstorm earlier this year that left hundreds of motorists stranded.

Turnpike chief executive officer Mark Compton said tractor-trailers blocked both lanes of traffic during the January storm, and passenger cars became trapped behind tractor-trailers. Officials are looking for ways to increase truck parking along the entire turnpike.

One of the 22 recommendations in a report released Tuesday on the episode is maintaining caches of emergency rations for such emergencies. Another is evaluating access ramps, gates and median barriers to better manage backlogged traffic.

More than 500 vehicles were stranded on a 16-mile turnpike stretch 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh as the storm brought two feet of snow to some areas.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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