Winter storm in Pittsburgh: travel could be nearly impossible

PITTSBURGH, PA — After several days of dire forecasts, a major winter storm is expected to hit Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania on Sunday, making travel extremely difficult, if not impossible. Severe speed and vehicle restrictions are expected on major roads in the state.

Snow is expected to start in Greene, Fayette and eastern Westmoreland County between 2 and 4 p.m. Snow will begin between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Butler, Washington, most of Westmoreland, Indiana and Armstrong counties.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday. Here are the expected accumulation totals:

Roads, and especially bridges and overpasses, will likely become slippery and dangerous. The weather service warns that travel “could be very difficult, if not impossible”.

PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm. Agencies plan to implement various speeds
restrictions throughout the storm.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roads in Level 2 of the Commonwealth Weather Event Vehicle Restriction Plan:

  • All freeways south of Interstate 80 except Interstate 80.
  • PA Turnpike I-76 (Mainline) from Ohio border to New Jersey border including all western extensions.
  • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-276 to I-80.
  • Full length of US 22.
  • The entire length of Route 33.

Under Level 2 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on the affected roads:

  • Tractors without trailers;
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded closed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers;
  • Tractors towing loaded tandem trailers unless there are chains or another approved alternate traction device on board;
  • Enclosed cargo delivery trucks meeting the definition of a commercial vehicle;
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans, etc.) towing trailers;
  • Recreational Vehicles/RVs;
  • School buses, commercial buses and coaches; and
  • motorcycles.
  • buses, commercial buses and coaches; and
  • motorcycles.

As of 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Level 2 restrictions will be in place for:

  • All freeways north of I-80, including I-80;
  • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-80 to Clarks Summit.

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