Speed limit going up to 70 mph on part of turnpike

It will increase on a 100-mile-stretch of east-west toll road

HARRISBURG, Pa. -  A 70 mph speed limit will be put in place on a 100-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the south-central part of the state next week.

The 70-mph zone will be on the main section of the east/west turnpike -- Interstate 76-- between the Blue Mountain Interchange (Exit 201) and Morgantown Interchange (Exit 298).

The change will be made Wednesday, announced the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Friday.

"Our studies have shown that the design of our system in this area can safely accommodate the higher speed limit," said turnpike CEO Mark Compton.

"But motorists must remember that it is their responsibly to drive safely and sensibly according to the traffic and weather conditions – especially when the pavement is slick from precipitation or when visibility is limited."

Until the new 70 mph signs are unveiled, officials reminded drivers that they must heed whatever limits now are posted on turnpike signs.

"The Pennsylvania State Police will be enforcing all posted speed limits just as they have in the past," said Lt. Edward Murphy of Troop T, the unit in charge of turnpike patrols.

"Strict enforcement of the new 70 mph speed limit will be observed by our troopers during all Turnpike speed-enforcement operations."

When the first section of the turnpike opened in 1940, it had no speed limits, except at the tunnels.

The turnpike plans a news conference next week to provide more details on speed-limit changes on its 550-plus mile system.

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