PennDOT has announced that commercial vehicles weighing more than five tons will be prohibited from traveling on Interstate 95 between Exit 13 (Interstate 76 West/Route 291/Valley Forge) and Exit 22 (Interstate 676) in Philadelphia from Saturday, July 23 at 12:00 p.m., until midday Friday, July 29.
“The rerouting of commercial vehicles off I-95 is associated with the security for the Democratic National Convention,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “PennDOT and regional transportation partners will utilize a combination of electronic message boards and stationary signs to guide commercial truck drivers along alternate routes during this temporary restriction.
“We urge commercial drivers, if possible, to travel on interstate highways outside the Philadelphia region during the week of the convention to avoid being diverted off I-95,” Richards added.
Among the types of commercial vehicles to be restricted from traveling on this part of I-95 during the convention are delivery trucks, utility vehicles, parcel trucks, small dump trucks, buses, flatbed and stake trucks, refrigerated and box trucks, large delivery trucks, refuse trucks, cement mixers, buses, and all tractor trailer combinations including double trailers.
In addition, motor homes and recreational trailers operated for personal use and weighing more than five tons will also be restricted from traveling on this section of I-95.
The following are the posted detours that drivers of vehicles over five tons will be directed to follow to return to I-95 once they exit the interstate:
- From I-95 north: Route 291 (Penrose Avenue) east, to 26th Street, to Interstate 76 west, to Interstate 676 east.
- From I-95 south: I-676 west, to I-76 east, to 26th Street, to Route 291(Penrose Avenue) west.
In addition, the northbound and southbound entrance ramps to I-95 between Exit 13 and Exit 22 in Philadelphia will be closed to commercial vehicles over five tons. Commercial vehicles will be directed to use arterial roads to reach either I-95 north or south beyond Exit 13 or Exit 22.
Richards said all interstate highways and expressways in the Philadelphia region will remain open to passenger vehicles throughout the convention. She advised commuters to allow additional time for travel on I-76, I-676 and Route 291 during this time because these highways will experience heavier traffic volumes due to commercial vehicles being diverted off I-95. Citizens should consider using public transportation for travel into and out of Center City.
PennDOT is working closely with regional transportation partners to coordinate travel-related messaging and the use of electronic message signs to inform commercial drivers and travelers of I-95 travel restrictions in Philadelphia during this special event. Messages will be posted on 109 permanent and portable electronic message signs beginning Saturday, July 16, and continuing throughout the week of the convention.
To assist those traveling to Philadelphia for the convention, PennDOT will launch a travelers’ website in July – www.511PA.com/DNC. The website will be a useful tool that provides real-time traffic information; color-coded maps showing how traffic is flowing; and other valuable information. The site will be accessible from both desktop and mobile interfaces.