Oct. 1940 - America's First Superhighway

Discussion in 'Commerical Transportation' started by xcel, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The first superhighway in America opened this month in 1940 — the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The highway utilized roadbed and unfinished tunnels from an abandoned railroad project of the 1880s to make the nation's first limited access, divided highway. The original road ran for 160 miles and featured seven tunnels, 10 service plazas, and 11 interchanges. In the years since, the turnpike — now part of the interstate highway system — has seen many improvements and is twice its original length. In the U.S. today, there are just over 4 million miles of roads, including nearly 47,000 miles of interstate highways.

    Source: www.pahighways.com/toll/PATurnpike.html
  2. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    With all the upgrades over the last ten years the Turnpike has become a wonderful road to travel on as long as you can afford it, $35.55 from the Ohio border to the New Jersey border. With the robbing of the goose that laid the golden egg the Turnpike is projected to become insolvent in the next four to five years due to it already owing seven billion in debt which is increasing year over year. The state is taking $450 million a year out of its revenues for other projects around the state.

    It has become so bad it is being studied and proposed to get rid of the Union Toll collectors for a system wide EZPass system. If you don't have an EZpass the Turnpike will bill you through the mail based on information off your License Plate.

    Ten years ago I was paying $4.40 from Pittsburgh to Breezewood. Today it has risen to $10.20 and the rates are going up on average at 10% a year each Jan 1st. :eek:

    Think about it if you have a car that gets 30 mph highway you'll use $46 in gas and need another $35.55 for tolls, which includes an initial $4.75 at the toll booth, when you cross into Pa. from Ohio. That is a total cost of $81.75 to pass through Pennsylvania using the Turnpike. :rolleyes:

    I give it another few years before that road becomes a ghost highway.

    Last time I went to Philadelphia I used I-68 through Maryland.
  3. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Is traffic volume noticeably lower now with those high tolls? Going from western Kentucky to northwestern Jersey, I used to take the Pa. Turnpike from New Stanton to somewhere a little southeast of Harrisburg for $2.90 or something. Then I switched to I-80, then to I-79 and I-68 to I-81.
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Traffic would be much higher without tolls, keep the rif-raf out.. the politicians get free passes (a guess) and they get to buy votes from the poor...

    Look, if you can afford a car and fuel then stop complaining.
  5. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    When I ws a little kid-mid 1950's- we used to drive on it. Can't remeber where we were going- any reason to take it to get from Philidelphia to Atlantic City ? We made that trip many times(dingy old resort town back then- but beach was pretty-nice breezy boardwalk at night)
    Pretty sure the toll was minimal back then- or I would remember my dad bitching about it.
    So it is $35 for 360 miles- 10 cents per mile-is that right?
    So it has union toll takers?
    Making how much?
  6. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Our Ex Governor Fast Eddie Rendell had his state limo driven by a Pa. State trooper clocked in the triple digits two or three times on the Turnpike. Thus the nick name Fast Eddie.
  7. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    I lost a toll ticket once on the PA turnpike. We had dropped off a neighbor kid from up the street here in NC near Philly, and took the turnpike from there to near Allentown. Problem is, the directions onto the road were just... awful. We completely missed the ticket booth, and ended up pleading our story to the folks at Allentown when we disembarked. The only saving grace? We had out of state plates since we had officially become North Carolinians ;).
  8. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Last I heard around $20 per hour.

    In this case the union is a very very small part of the problem. It is the raiding of the revenues for other than Turnpike projects that is killing the turnpike. There is also some real management problems and questionable what I would call wasteful and unnecessary spending by the Turnpike commission.

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