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Varying Weather and Heavy Traffic Expected for July 4th Travelers

by on July 03, 2014 11:18 AM

Varying weather conditions and heavy holiday traffic are expected for Independence Day weekend.

Folks heading to the Poconos could see cooler temperatures and those heading to the coast may see some beach closures as Hurricane Arthur makes its way up the coast.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Tom Kines says folks in the Poconos won't see any rain for Independence Day, but it will be on the cooler side with more clouds than sun and afternoon temperatures in the 60s. For Saturday and Sunday, the Poconos will be sunny with temperatures in the 70s.

For those spending the holiday at the beach, there will be some showers on July 4th with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s.

For the weekend, New Jersey and Maryland beaches will be sunny with temperatures reaching the 80s. However, some beaches could potentially close due to rough surf from Hurricane Arthur.

"One issue the beaches are going to have on Saturday, especially on the Jersey coastline, is going to be the rough surf caused by Arthur," says Kines. "While the weather itself will be nice, the waters will still be rough. It wouldn't be shocking if some of the beaches were actually closed on Saturday."

For the latest AccuWeather forecast, click HERE.

As for road travel, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission expects more than 2.7 million vehicles to be traveling the Turnpike over the July 4th weekend, which is up from the 2.5 million vehicles last year.

In advance of the increased traffic, Turnpike crews opened all available lanes to traffic June 27, which will continue through 6 a.m. July 7 except in the case of emergencies.

Drivers traveling the Turnpike can dial *11 on their cell phone for emergencies or use one of the call boxes on the shoulder. Drivers should provide their specific milepost location to the dispatcher when calling *11.

As for other road conditions, here's what travelers can expect:

- I-80 eastbound and westbound lane restrictions in Clarion County between Exit 62 (PA 68 – Clarion) and Exit 60 (PA 66 Shippenville)

- I-80 eastbound and westbound lane restrictions in Clarion County between Exit 45 (PA 478 St. Petersburg/Emlenton) and Exit 42 (PA 38 – Emlenton)

- I-80 eastbound lane restriction in Jefferson County between Exit 90 (PA 830 – East-Dubois Regional Airport) and Exit 97 (US 219 – Dubois/Brockway)

- There will not be any work zones on I-99 in Centre County and I-80 in Centre, Clinton or Clearfield counties until Monday morning, which will include shoulder cutting and drainage improvements along I-80 in Clearfield County near the 111/Penfield interchange (Rockton Mountain).

- For Interstate 76, also known as the Schuylkill Expressway, and Interstate 476 in the Philadelphia region, drivers will not encounter construction-related lane closures or travel restrictions.

- Two active construction zones on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia will not have lane closures during the weekend.

- In the Philadelphia region, PennDOT stopped major construction activity that could impact travel on regional highways from 5 a.m. Thursday until 8 p.m. Monday.

"Nevertheless, motorists should allow additional time for travel as traffic volumes are expected to be heavy," says Philadelphia Region PennDOT Spokesman Gene Blaum.

Drivers can check travel conditions on major highways in Pennsylvania by clicking HERE, calling 5-1-1 or downloading the 511PA app.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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