Pennsylvania Turnpike

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a toll highway operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States. The limited-access highway runs 360 miles (580 km) across the state. The turnpike designation begins at the Ohio border in Lawrence County, where it continues as the Ohio Turnpike. The turnpike ends at the New Jersey border at the Delaware River – Turnpike Toll Bridge over the Delaware River in Bucks County, where it continues into that state as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike. The roadway runs an east-west path through the state, connecting the Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia areas. The turnpike utilizes four tunnels as it passes through the Appalachian Mountains in the central part of the state. It is part of the Interstate Highway System and is designated 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. The road uses a ticket system of tolling between the Warrendale and Delaware River Bridge toll plazas. An additional eastbound toll plaza is located at Gateway near the Ohio border. E-ZPass, a form of electronic toll collection, is accepted at all toll plazas.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was planned in the 1930s to improve automobile transportation across the mountains of Pennsylvania. The road would utilize seven tunnels that were built for the abandoned South Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1880s. The road opened on October 1, 1940 between Irwin and Carlisle as the first long-distance limited-access highway in the United States that would spur the construction of other limited-access toll roads and the Interstate Highway System. The turnpike was extended east to Valley Forge in 1950 and west to the Ohio border in 1951. The road was extended east to the Delaware River in 1954. The mainline turnpike was completed in 1956 when the Delaware River bridge was finished. In the 1960s, an additional tube was bored at four of the two-lane tunnels while the other three tunnels were bypassed. These improvements made the entire length of the highway four lanes wide. Improvements continue to be made to modernize the road, such as reconstruction of the original section, widening portions of the turnpike to six lanes, and the addition of new interchanges.

Read more about Pennsylvania Turnpike:  Route Description, Features, History, Exit List

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