A six-mile section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 shut down its Express E-ZPass lanes on October 27th. The express lanes between Exit 54 and Exit 48 on the Mon-Fayette Expressway will remain closed until sometime in January as the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission tests the latest in high speed tolling technology.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, as part of an E-ZPass Group consortium that includes 24 other transportation agencies nationwide, has submitted this stretch of road to test the equipment because of the current technology in place and the steady but small traffic on the roadway.
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission spokesman Tom Fox says Turnpike 43 is a convenient toll road on which to test the latest technology.
“One of the reasons that we selected the high speed E-ZPass lanes on Turnpike 43 is because traffic out there is minimal to a certain extent and will be minimal until the entire portion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway between Uniontown and Brownsville is completed,” Fox says.
According to Fox, drivers who currently use E-ZPass will still be able to use their transponders and move efficiently through the tollbooths, but at a slower speed.
“They just have to go through the traditional E-ZPass lanes,” Fox says. “Instead of going 40-50 mph through a high speed E-ZPass lane, you’re going to have to go through a traditional E-ZPass lane as people are familiar seeing on the mainline turnpike.”
New equipment and technology submitted by a number of companies vying to provide equipment to all of the transportation agencies in the E-ZPass Group consortium will be examined during this testing phase. Fox ensures that message boards and traffic controllers will guide those who plan to exit through the proper lanes and that on or off ramps will be affected.