Pennsylvania Turnpike expects record travelers for papal visit

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – If you plan to travel to Philadelphia this weekend, pack some patience.

PennDOT and Pennsylvania Turnpike officials expect a record number of cars and buses will cram roads during the pope’s visit.

Signs have been posted to warns drivers of possible delays and heavy traffic. Turnpike service plazas will have extra portable toilets and water, and the toll plazas will have additional staffing.

Officials are urging drivers to have plenty of gas, drinks, snacks and medicine.

“We don’t want to discourage anyone from seeing Pope Francis; it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said. “Just be realistic. Have realistic expectations and plan for significant traffic and possible delays.”

Traffic is expected to be heaviest Sunday night after the papal mass.

The state has a special website for traffic conditions during the pope’s visit. It’s papal511.com.

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