Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Pennsylvania Turnpike marker

Pennsylvania Turnpike

The East–West Mainline of the Pennsylvania Turnpike system
Route information
Maintained by Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Length: 360.091 mi[2] (579.510 km)
Existed: October 1, 1940[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: I-76 / Ohio Tpk. at the Ohio state line
 
East end: I-95 / NJ Turnpike on Delaware River-Turnpike Toll Bridge at the New Jersey state line
Highway system

Roads in Pennsylvania
Interstate • US • State • Legislative

PA 274 I-276 PA 276
I-279 I-280 PA 280

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a toll road (a road cars have to pay to drive on) operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States. The turnpike is a limited-access highway, which means cars must use ramps to get onto the highway. It runs 360 miles (580 km) across the state. The turnpike begins at the Ohio border in Lawrence County, where it goes into that state as the Ohio Turnpike. The designation ends at the New Jersey border at the Delaware River – Turnpike Toll Bridge over the Delaware River in Bucks County, where it goes into that state as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike. The roadway goes east-west path through the state, going through the Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia areas. As it goes across the Appalachian Mountains in the middle of the state, the turnpike goes through four tunnels. It is part of the Interstate Highway System and is signed as part of Interstate 76 (I-76) between the Ohio border and Valley Forge, I-70 and I-76 between New Stanton and Breezewood, and I-276 between Valley Forge and the New Jersey border.[3][4][5] The road uses a ticket system of tolling, where cars get a ticket listing fares when they head onto the road and pay when they leave the road, between the Warrendale and Delaware River Bridge toll plazas. There is also an eastbound toll plaza at Gateway near the Ohio border. E-ZPass, a form of electronic toll collection, is also used at all toll plazas.[6]

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was planned in the 1930s to make traveling by car better across the mountains of Pennsylvania. It went through seven tunnels that were created for the abandoned South Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1880s.[7] The road opened on October 1, 1940 between Irwin and Carlisle as the first long-distance limited-access highway in the United States that led to the building of other limited-access toll roads and the Interstate Highway System.[8][9] Following World War II, the turnpike was built east to Valley Forge in 1950 and west to the Ohio border in 1951.[10][11] In 1954, the road was built east to the Delaware River.[12] The mainline turnpike was done in 1956 when the Delaware River bridge was built.[13] In the 1960s, another tube was bored at four of the two-lane tunnels while the other three tunnels were closed when a new road was built around them. This made all of the highway four lanes wide.[14] Work continues to be done to make the road better, such as rebuilding the original section to today's standards, widening parts of the turnpike to six lanes, and adding new interchanges.

References[change | change source]

  1. Dakelman, p. 69.
  2. "Pennsylvania State Roads (GIS data set)". Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. January 2012. http://www.pasda.psu.edu/uci/MetadataDisplay.aspx?entry=PASDA&file=PaStateRoads2012_01.xml&dataset=54. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  3. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Simplified Map [map]. Retrieved on September 6, 2012.
  4. Google, Inc. Google Maps – overview of Pennsylvania Turnpike [map]. Cartography by Tele Atlas. Retrieved on September 6, 2012.
  5. ADC Map. Pennsylvania State Road Atlas [map]. (2003) ISBN 0875303714.
  6. 2012 Toll Schedule. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. 2012. http://www.paturnpike.com/toll/images/pdfs/tolls_2012/2012_TOLL_BOOK.pdf. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  7. Dakelman, p. 21.
  8. Cupper, p. 16.
  9. Dakelman, p. 84.
  10. Dakelman, p. 88.
  11. Dakelman, p. 100.
  12. Dakelman, p. 103.
  13. Dakelman, p. 104.
  14. Dakelman, p. 109.

Works cited[change | change source]

  • Cupper, Dan (1990). The Pennsylvania Turnpike: A History. Lebanon, PA: Applied Arts Publishers. ISBN 0-911410-90-2
      .
  • Dakelman, Mitchell E., Schorr, Neal A. (2004). The Pennsylvania Turnpike. Images of America. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-3532-X
      .