PITTSBURGH — Road conditions will deteriorate as freezing rain, sleet and snow fall across western Pennsylvania.

The winter storm will continue into Friday, and these travel restrictions and road closures have been announced:


The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works said steep and problematic portions of the following streets will be closed beginning Thursday morning (between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.) and continuing until conditions allow them to be safely reopened.

  • Capitol Avenue
  • Newett Street
  • Copperfield Street
  • South Negley Avenue
  • Suffolk Street
  • Rialto Street

PennDOT and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Various speed limit and vehicle restrictions are being put in place by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

HOV Lanes

“The I-279 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes will remain closed to traffic until further notice,” PennDOT said.

Speed Limit Restrictions

As of Thursday morning, speed limits were reduced on the following interstates:

  • I-79: Speed limit reduced to 45 mph. Commercial vehicles right lane only.
  • I-376: Speed limit reduced to 45 mph. Commercial vehicles right lane only.
  • Route 28: Speed limit reduced to 45 mph. Commercial vehicles right lane only.
  • I-80: Speed limit reduced to 45 mph. Commercial vehicles right lane only.

Vehicle Restrictions

Under Tier 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:

  • Tractors without trailers
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers
  • Enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers
  • Recreational vehicles/motorhomes
  • School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches not carrying chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATDs)
  • Motorcycles

Those Tier 1 vehicle restrictions will be in place on the following roadways:

Effective at noon Thursday

  • Interstate 79 from I-80 to Erie
  • I-80 from the Ohio border to I-99
  • I-86, entire length
  • I-90, entire length
  • I-79, 376 and 579 in Allegheny County
  • Route 28 in Allegheny County
  • Interstate 376 in Beaver County (Beaver Valley Expressway)
  • Interstates 79 and 376 in Lawrence County

Effective at 6 p.m. Thursday

  • I-70, entire length
  • I-76 from the Ohio Line to Breezewood (Exit 161)
  • I-79, entire length
  • I-80, entire length
  • I-81 from I-80 to the New York border
  • I-84, entire length
  • I-99, entire length
  • I-180, entire length
  • I-279, entire length
  • I-376, entire length
  • I-380, entire length
  • I-579, entire length
  • All of PA Turnpike 43, 66, 376 and 576

Effective at midnight Friday

  • I-476 from Pocono (Exit 95) to Clarks Summit (Exit 131)

AAA: Tips if you can’t stay home

With the changing conditions, the best advice from the professionals is to stay at home.

“It seems simple, but that’s the easiest way to keep you and your family safe,” said Tiffany Stanley with AAA East.

If you do have to go out for work or an emergency, AAA recommends you prepare with snow essentials in your car, like an ice scraper.

>>RELATED STORY: What to keep in your emergency car kit for dangerous winter weather

“If you do start to skid, you don’t want to panic. Our first instinct is to slam on the brakes, and you don’t want to do that. You want to keep the wheel in the direction you are going. So, if you are going straight, keep it straight. Take your foot off the gas and slowly put it on the brake,” Stanley said.

AAA said it anticipates an influx of calls when the storm hits. When it comes to towing and help, stranded motorists on the side of the road will take priority over people who may be stuck with a dead battery at home.

Source link