Reduced speeds on Pa. Turnpike, other local highways

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Chad Pradelli reports on the wintry mix in the Philadelphia suburbs. (WPVI)

Parts of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, along with other major highways in the area, have reduced speed limits during this winter storm.

On the Turnpike, the reduced speed limit is in effect from the Lebanon-Lancaster Interchange to the Delaware River Bridge on I-76/I-276 and from the Mid-County Interchange to the Lehigh Valley Interchange on I-476/Northeastern Extension.

Meanwhile, PennDOT said it is urging drivers to avoid unnecessary travel, but those who must head out will see speeds reduced to 45 mph on the following highways:

-Interstates 76, 95, 476, 676;
-U.S. Routes 1, 30, 202, 422; and
-State Routes 63, 100 Spur and 309.

PennDOT said that while crews have been treating roadways, its primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow.

PennDOT still has 108,000 tons of salt in stock.

John Krafczyk of PennDOT says, "Our pavement temperatures are very cold due to the frigid weather we have. So, they can still continue to ice after the temperatures have risen above freezing."

PennDOT officials say there are two factors working in their favor with this storm.

First off, it's starting off as snow changing over to rain. They say if the rain came first it would've washed the brine off the roads, rendering their pre-treatment efforts useless.

Secondly, it's a holiday, so there are fewer vehicles on the roads.

Still, if your plans have you driving around Tuesday, you're being urged to drive defensively, especially as the temperatures begin to rise this evening.

Krafczyk says, "The changing conditions will present a challenge, because it'll be slippery and then overpasses, elevated ramps, will tend to freeze quicker than the roadways when the freezing rain starts."

So, the concern tonight is the potential for black ice, and tomorrow morning there could be black ice and standing water across the region.
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