Nor’easter forces truck restrictions in several states

February 1, 2021

Tyson Fisher

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A major nor’easter has restricted travel on several highways in the Northeast, including bans on tractor-trailers in several states.

On Monday morning, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced Tier 3 restrictions that went into effect at 9 a.m. No commercial vehicles are allowed on certain highways. Exceptions apply to trucks with loaded single trailer with chains. School buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers are also part of the restrictions as the nor’easter causes dangerous conditions.

Affected roadways include:

  • Interstate 76/276/95 (PA Turnpike mainline) from Interstate 81 (Carlisle Interchange, Exit 226) to the New Jersey border.
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to Interstate 81.
  • The entire length of Interstate 81 in both directions.
  • The entire length of Interstate 83 in both directions.
  • Interstate 283 in both directions.
  • Interstate 476 (PA Turnpike Northeast Extension) from Interstate 276 (PA Turnpike mainline) to Interstate 78 (Lehigh Valley Interchange, Exit 56).
  • Interstate 476 (PA Turnpike Northeast Extension) from Interstate 80 (Pocono Interchange, Exit 95) to Interstate 81 (Clarks Summit Interchange, Exit 131).

Tier 4 restrictions were also put in place on certain highways. Those restrictions ban all commercial vehicles, no exceptions. Highways with Tier 4 restrictions are:

  • Route 22 from Interstate 78 to the New Jersey border.
  • The entire length of Route 33 in both directions.
  • The entire length of Interstate 78 in both directions.
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 81 to the New Jersey border.
  • The entire length of Interstate 84 in both directions.
  • The entire length of Interstate 380 in both directions.
  • Interstate 476 (PA Turnpike Northeast Extension) from Interstate 78 (Lehigh Valley Interchange, Exit 56) to Interstate 80 (Pocono Interchange, Exit 95).

The nor’easter has also forced Tier 1 restrictions on another set of highways.

Affected vehicles include tractors without trailers, tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers/open trailers/tank trailers, tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers and enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle. Tier restrictions are in place at the following locations:

  • Interstate 70 in both directions from the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) to the Maryland state line.
  • Interstate 76 (PA Turnpike mainline) from Breezewood Interchange, Exit 161, to Interstate 81 (Carlisle Interchange, Exit 226).
  • Interstate 80 in both directions from Interstate 99 to Interstate 79.
  • The entire length of Interstate 99 in both directions.

Travel restrictions will change has conditions from the nor’easter improve or worsen. For up-to-date information, go to 511PA.com.

On Sunday night, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont implemented a travel ban on certain tractor-trailers that went into effect Monday morning. All empty tandem tractor-trailers cannot drive on Interstates 84, 91 and 95.

Furthermore, all tractor-trailers are restricted from traveling on Interstate 84. Go to CTTravelSmart.org for the latest information.

In New Jersey, the nor’easter caused the state Department of Transportation to issue a commercial vehicle ban that began at noon on Sunday. The restrictions to all tractor-trailers on the following highways:

  • I-76, from the Walt Whitman Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to NJ Route 42.
  • I-78, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike).
  • I-80, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike).
  • I-195, from I-295 to N.J. Route 138.
  • I-280, from I-80 to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike).
  • I-287, from N.J. Route 440 to the New York State border.
  • I-295, from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the Scudders Falls Bridge (Pennsylvania border).
  • I-676, from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to I-76.
  • N.J. Route 440, from the Outerbridge Crossing to I-287.

Travel restrictions do not apply to the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway or the Atlantic City Expressway. NJDOT encourages trucks in the state to go to truck stops to wait out the nor’easter. However, officials remind truckers that they cannot park on shoulders. Real-time travel information can be found at 511NJ.org.

Meanwhile in New York, the New York State Department of Transportation has placed on restrictions on empty and tandem trailers. Affected highways include Interstate 84 from the Pennsylvania state line to the Connecticut state line, Route 17 east of Binghamton to the New Jersey state line and the entire length of Interstate 684. The latest road conditions can be accessed at 511NY.org.

Rhode Island Transportation officials issued a tractor-trailer restriction that went into effect on Monday morning. Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proclamation prohibits all tractor-trailers from traveling on all state highways. Travel information can found at 511.dot.ri.gov. LL

TA Bandag
Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.