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PennDOT to open some rest areas previously closed due to Coronavirus

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The American Trucking Association and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association have been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in an effort to reopen the rest areas that were closed recently as a result of COVID-19.

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PennDOT announced March 18 that it has identified 13 of its 30 rest areas that are most utilized by truckers that will be available again by March 19. At these locations, PennDOT will be taking down the barricades on some facilities in critical locations and making them available for truck parking.

Portable restroom facilities will be available at these locations; each location will have five portable toilets (one of which is ADA-accessible) that will be cleaned once a day. Electronic message signs will be used near the applicable centers to notify drivers near the opened areas. In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, indoor facilities will not be open, because there is no staff to keep them clean and properly sanitized.

These are the locations:

  • I-81: Luzerne NB/SB, Cumberland NB/SB;
  • I-80, Venango EB/WB, Centre EB/WB, Montour EB/WB
  • I-79: Crawford NB/SB, Allegheny NB only

The ATA says the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is expected to be rolling back some of the restrictions they put in place to 17 of its service plazas. The proposed changes, expected to take place no later than Saturday, include indoor bathrooms being available at all hours; the convenience store open at all hours; and one restaurant at each location open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. for a limited take-out menu.

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