PennDOT Reminds Motorists to Merge at the Right Point Before Work Zones to Increase Safety, Decrease Traffic Backups

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding drivers to merge at the correct point when approaching work zones, like those on Interstate 80 eastbound and westbound, to help decrease traffic tie ups along the highway.

Work on the interstate from Exit 35 (Route 308, Clintonville) to Venango-Mercer County line near mile post 24 requires lane restrictions, which means a merging of traffic from travel and passing lanes. Drivers are being urged to follow the signs and continue to use both lanes of traffic until the merge point, where motorists should take turns entering the open lane. 

While traveling through the work zone, drivers are also encouraged to go the speed as posted, avoid all distractions, and be alert for changing conditions, such as construction vehicles entering or exiting the work area. 

“Merging at the correct location and traveling at the appropriate speed are important factors in improving safety not only in the work zone, but along the roadway leading up to the active construction area,” said Dax Nulph, PennDOT Assistant District Engineer for the northwest region. “When motorists start to merge too early, or travel at the wrong speed through the work zone, traffic can back up significantly or even come to a standstill, which can increase the risk of crashes.”

Lane restrictions for the I-80 project are mainly in place during the work week and typically will be taken down during weekend travel times. All restrictions are expected to be lifted by mid-November 2021.

The closures will alternate between the travel and passing lanes as needed throughout the project, so motorists should be alert for changing traffic patterns and anticipate some delays during peak travel time. 

“Safety is a cooperative effort between PennDOT, our contractors and consultants, and drivers. We are asking drivers to follow the signs and use courtesy toward each other while on the highway so that everyone get to their destination safely each day,” Nulph said.

Information on the project is available online at by clicking on the Construction Projects/Roadway link under the Resources heading, picking the Venango County box then choosing the Interstate 80 Paving Project.  

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. 

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties at 

Follow PennDOT’s northwest region on Twitter at or Facebook at 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Harry, 814-678-5035

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Source: EIN Presswire