Storm update: I-81 closed near airport

Times Leader Staff | February 7th, 2018 9:14 am - updated: 12:18 pm.

Interstate 81 South is closed between Exit 178 (Avoca) to Exit 175 (Dupont/Pittston) due to a crash involving a tractor-trailer, PennDOT officials said this afternoon. Motorists should use alternates routes, officials said.

In other storm-related news:

PennDOT changes

Due to the severity of the winter storm, PennDOT is temporarily reducing the speed limit on several roadways in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.

PennDOT is urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel but those who must head out will see speeds reduced to 45 mph on Interstates 80, 81, 84 and 380.

Although PennDOT crews have been treating roadways, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.

While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, 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 850 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.

The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.

PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into account special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.

PennDOT also reminds citizens that downloadable materials, including home and car emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available or by downloading the free ReadyPA app for Apple or Android devices. Citizens can also find information about getting involved in local emergency response efforts and other volunteer opportunities through the ReadyPA website.

For more winter driving tips and information on how PennDOT treats winter storms,

Follow PennDOT on Twitter

LCTA buses

Effective 7:30 Wednesday morning, the Luzerne County Transportation Authority has implemented snow route schedules.

Snow Routes are utilized when weather conditions are significant enough to pose a danger to passengers, drivers and the public.

Information on these revised schedules/routes is located at, under the menu of schedules. These routes will stay in effect until further notice. Continue to monitor the LCTA web site and local media outlets for updates.

Times Leader Staff