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Travel bans, speed restrictions lifted in Northeast

UPDATE: Thursday, March 16, 8 a.m. Central: All travel bans and speed restrictions have been lifted in the Northeast as of Thursday morning.

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 15, 3 p.m. Central: A tractor-trailer ban remains in place in New York on Interstates 81, 86, 87, 88 and the New York State Thruway.

Some speed restrictions are still in place in Pennsylvania on parts of I-80 and I-380, and on I-80 in New Jersey.

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 15, 8 a.m. Central: Winter Storm Stella has passed through the Northeast, dumping as much as 41 inches of snow in areas across the region. According to the Weather Channel, West Winfield, N.Y., received the most snow – 41 inches – and other areas received between eight and 22 inches.

Highway closures and restrictions remain mostly the same as Tuesday afternoon. A truck ban is still in place in New York on I-81, I-84, I-86/Route 17, I-88 and the NYS Thruway.

In Pennsylvania, speed restrictions of 45 mph are in place on many interstates in the western part of the state, including I-78, I-80, I-81 and I-380.

UPDATE: Tuesday, March 14, 1:15 p.m. Central: In addition to Pennsylvania’s Monday afternoon declaration, Connecticut and Virginia have also issued emergency declarations due to Winter Storm Stella’s ongoing impact on the Northeast.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s emergency declaration prohibits all traffic on limited access highways in the state, which began at 5 a.m. Tuesday. Malloy says the ban does not extend to emergency response and recovery vehicles, including trucks carrying essential supplies.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an emergency declaration Monday afternoon to help state agencies prepare for the storm. The declaration also orders the state to grant haulers temporary overweight, over width, registration or license exemptions if they are hauling “essential emergency relief supplies, livestock or poultry, feed or other critical supplies for livestock or poultry, heating oil, motor fuels or propane, or providing restoration of utilities” in the state.

In New York, as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, a complete travel ban has been issued for I-84 from the Pennsylvania border to the Connecticut border, except for emergency personnel.

Authorities in Maine have ordered reduced speeds on the Maine Turnpike from the New Hampshire state line to Augusta.

Original story follows:

Winter Storm Stella Alerts map

Winter Storm Stella has caused speed restrictions and even truck bans on some major interstates across the Northeast.

A strong winter storm that began impacting the Northeast Monday night has prompted speed restrictions on some major interstates and highways throughout the region.

Winter Storm Stella, which is forecast to dump as much as 20 inches of snow in some locations, is forecast to deliver from 1 to 4 inches of snow per hour along the I-95 corridor from Boston to Philadelphia and possibly Washington, D.C. Boston and New York City can expect for as much as 18 inches of snow.

On Monday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a proclamation of disaster emergency in anticipation of the major winter snowstorm expected to hit the Northeast, and announced PennDOT and the Turnpike will restrict speeds on interstates and some large commercial vehicle travel.

In addition, the proclamation authorizes the Department of Transportation to waive hours of service regulations related to drivers of commercial vehicles in order to ensure the timely movement of commodities, particularly food and home-heating fuel. No formal hours waiver has been issued yet, though affected states likely will in the coming days.

Beginning Monday at 10 p.m., the following restrictions will be in place on Interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 99, 283, 176, 180, 476, 380; all expressways not on the interstate system; and the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the Bedford Interchange east to New Jersey and on the entire Northeastern extension:

  • 45 mph speed limit
  • Ban on tandem truck trailers, empty trailers, towed trailers, buses, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles

PennDOT is also cancelling all superload permits for movement on Tuesday.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking motorists to avoid unnecessary travel. A statement from the governor warns, “Motorists, especially tractor trailers, should be prepared for road closures across the state.”

As of Tuesday morning, New York has placed a tractor-trailer ban, including all tandem trailers, on I-81, I-84, I-86/Route 17, I-88 and the NYS Thruway.

New Jersey has placed speed and truck restrictions on I-78, I-80 and I-95 in certain areas.

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