PennDOT Reopens Indoor Facilities at Five More Rest Areas After Outcry

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has reopened five more rest areas after demands from the trucking industry and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).

PennDOT created a firestorm throughout the trucking community when it closed 30 rest areas statewide on March 17.

Transportation Nation Network (TNN) was the first to break the news and it wasn’t long until groups such as the American Trucking Association (ATA), Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA), Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), and Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) expressed outrage over the closures.


Following the outcry, PennDOT partially reopened 13 rest areas to allow drivers to park.

TNN reported last week that discussions among PennDOT and Trump Administration officials were ongoing to reopen additional locations.

Then in a much welcomed move on Tuesday of this week, PennDOT fully reopened (including indoor facilities) 23 of the 30 rest areas it closed.

On Wednesday, U.S. DOT Secretary, Elaine Chao, weighed in on rest area closures in a conference call with more than 450 trucking stakeholders.


“We have heard from many people about their concerns that some states may close rest areas in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus,” she said. “So I’ve asked [FMCSA] Acting Administrator Mullen to reach out and work with state Departments of Transportation and others to keep these critical infrastructures open, so that motor carrier drivers have a safe place to rest.”


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PennDOT announced on Friday it was fully reopening five additional rest areas.

PennDOT officials say they will “continue to evaluate” when to reopen the remaining rest areas.


The following five locations have reopened:
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Greene County, 5 miles north of Exit 1;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Luzerne County, 8.5 miles east of Exit 262;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Monroe County, 1 mile east of I-80/I-380;
  • Interstate 83 northbound in York County, 2.5 miles north of the Maryland state line; and
  • Interstate 90 eastbound in Erie County, 3 miles east of the Ohio state line.
The below locations were previously reopened:
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Allegheny County, 8 miles north of Exit 45;
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Crawford County, 8 miles north of Exit 154;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Crawford County, 3 miles south of Exit 166;
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles north of Exit 105;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles south of Exit 113
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Mercer County, 5 miles south of Exit 141;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Mercer County, 6 miles north of Exit 130;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Centre County, 13 miles east of Exit 133;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Centre County, .5 miles west of Exit 147;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Jefferson County, 1 mile east of Exit 86;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Jefferson County, 10 miles west of Exit 97;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles east of Exit 215;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles west of Exit 224;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Venango County, .5 miles east of Exit 29;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Venango County, 4 miles west of Exit 35;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Cumberland County, .5 miles north of Exit 37;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Cumberland County, 5.5 miles south of Exit 44;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Lackawanna County, .5 miles north of Exit 202;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles north of Exit 155;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles south of Exit 159;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Susquehanna County, 4 miles south of Exit 211;
  • Interstate 84 eastbound in Pike County, 6 miles east of Exit 20; and
  • Interstate 84 westbound in Pike County, 1 mile west of Exit 26.



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