2. The Three Mile Island towers near Harrisburg always attract my eye. I know just where to look as you cross the Susquehanna River. Again you may have to be a certain age to remember that day. March 28, 1979. It was a partial nuclear meltdown. At the time you had to be a nuclear scientist to really know what that meant but for the average American living in Pennsylvania it meant a tinge of panic. How far away from here is that? How far does that leak travel? What does it look like? Does it smell? The "accident" was rated 5 on a scale of 7 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) so not so bad but it did take 14 years to completely clean it up at a price of 1 billion dollars. The glow is the guardrail but when I first looked at the picture I was stunned. Is that water glowing?
3. Tires aren't really that extraordinary to see on the turnpike in any state. Sometimes you even see shredding remnants along the side of the road from the big rigs but this was a first for me, a truck carrying many of those big rig tires or possibly heavy machinery tires. Those are for the big guys. I can't tell if these are new tires or those headed for proper disposal. Especially this time of year we are reminded that tires lying around accumulate water which attracts mosquitoes that could potentially carry the West Nile Virus. It is also a fire hazard, the rubber on the tires can burn for days. Here is a link to the Waste Tire Program in Pennsylvania, where you can dispose of tires.
4. Rain may not be inevitable for you but it seems to be for us on the major highways especially around dusk. I am confident with my driver, he has a CDL license and I am constantly getting an education whilst driving during inclement weather. As far as I can tell, it is a courtesy and a good idea to use your flashers during a huge deluge. The best thing to do is to pull off to the side of the road if you can't see in front of you but flashing lights can give other motorists an indication that you are there and to use caution. It is in the dmv.state.pa.us drivers manual, "if legal to do so", to use your flashers if you are traveling below the speed limit. I have also seen forums where people and they get kinda mean about it, find the flashers hazardous and distracting. PA people were flashing.
5. Depending on the direction you are heading there are 7 tunnels and maybe even a double tunnel.
6. A spectacular sunset can be found if you are heading west and there are mountains too!
7. Construction happens, and it mystifies me that every summer I am traveling it's not on my map, itinerary or on my GPS but always lies between myself and my destination. How do they know? Unfortunately, I was not quick enough with the camera to snap a picture of the sign, but there are certain things your state representatives DO want you to know. I jotted them down, $48 Million for a new bridge along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and $49 million to widen the road to 3 lanes. I am not a fan of the cattle shoots and three does sound better than one. These are our tax dollars at work.
8. Green Power is evident from the wind farm near Altoona. You can usually spot the wind turbines in the general area but I have seen the best display heading east on the turnpike. It is a majestic sight in my eyes. This video was taken on Route 30 but some of these same windmills are visible on the PA Turnpike.
9. The current "legal" speed limit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is 65 M.P.H., tomorrow July 23 this rate of speed will increase to 70 M.P.H. in "some" sections, other areas are still being evaluated. This is the maximum freeway speed in the state of Pennsylvania. There is no universal set minimum maximum in the United States. These limits are set by state. The highest rate of speed, 85 M.P.H. allowed in the United States is in an area in Texas a 41 mile portion of Texas State Highway 130. The PA Turnpike increase of speed will run from the Blue Mountain interchange to the Morgantown interchange. My thoughts are not everyone does the speed limit but if you are a conscientious driver, now you have to know exactly where you are and when this speed limit will fluctuate from 65 to 70. Watch for the signs. The alternative route is pay the piper if you are caught speeding or see the sights at a lower rate of speed on the Lincoln Highway. We all have options.
10. Safety and security is always the top priority on the highway. You are now being observed and if you are not comfortable doing the "legal" speed limit in the left lane....moooove to the right.
Always learning something new, for further reading, Abandoned PA Turnpike
is now a tourist attraction and during the 1930s the Pennsylvania Turnpike was designed to improve automobile transportation across the mountains of Pennsylvania, using seven tunnels built for the abandoned South Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1880s.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike was added to List of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks in 1988.