Traffic restrictions, road crews in place ahead of storm

Region prepares for latest nor'easter

ROBESON TWP., Pa. - Drivers are dealing with winter weather on the first day of spring, especially one woman and her friend traveling from Ohio to New Jersey.

"It started out with blue skies and then it quickly turned when we were just about out of Ohio," said Counrtney Artz, from New Jersey.

Their route home was a stark contrast in conditions.

"There was a lot of overturned trucks, a lot of accidents, the turnpike was blocked off, so it was a little nerve-wracking for a moment there," Artz explained.

With several inches of snow expected in the region, PennDOT has banned empty tractor trailers, double tractor trailers, motorcycles and RVs on a number of state roads, including Interstates 176 and 78 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

It has also banned all commercial traffic on Interstate 78 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New Jersey state line, and New Jersey has banned commercial traffic on I-78 within its borders.

One truck driver said, regardless of the restrictions, what's more important is who's sitting behind the wheel.

"Good, if you know how to drive safe," said truck driver Joe Zig. "If you put the right driver in the truck, I guess it would be alright."

PennDOT crews in Berks County will have 41 department trucks and up to 24 contractors on the roads.

"We have crews out now," said Rick Stone, PennDOT's equipment manager for Berks County. "We are prepping for the shift change, and we'll be out till the end of the storm."

In addition to the snow, crews are keeping an eye on the wind.

"My concern would be the winds if we get the 20 to 30 mile an hour winds with drifting," Stone said. "Drifitng is just keeping up with it, keeping the road open. Now we have loader-mounted snow blowers. We have the graders in place."

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