“Our preparations for the storm include plans to shift resources and crews as needed to handle the changing weather conditions throughout the region, which includes Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties,” said Doug Schofield, PennDOT Assistant District Executive - Maintenance. “Salt, anti-skid and other materials are in good supply and crews will work around the clock, even on the holidays, to keep the roads safe and passable.”
PennDOT is planning to place a Tier 1 vehicle restriction on the entire length of Interstate 90 in Erie County starting at 4 a.m. Friday. This is to help ensure the interstate remain open during the most challenging conditions of the winter storm. When conditions improve, PennDOT says they will remove the restrictions.
"Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. Although PennDOT crews will be treating roadways, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow," a press release explained. "PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear."
They also emphasize that with freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy and bridges especially should be approached with caution.
" Drivers should leave plenty of space – six car lengths – when following a truck that is plowing or spreading winter materials."
They also offer the following advice for traveling safely:
What vehicles are not permitted under Tier 1 Restrictions
Do you know about 511 or other ways to stay informed about roadway conditions?
Vehicle restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website at www.511PA.com and smartphone apps. Motorists can also sign up for alerts on the website.
While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com.
511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.
Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties at www.penndot.gov/District1.
Follow PennDOT’s northwest region on Twitter or Facebook.