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Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel

Tunnel Maintenance & Incident Management

Willow Hill, PA, USA

An image for Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel


The Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel, one of five active tunnels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, consists of twin two-lane tunnel tubes. The TTMS was designed and deployed in advance of and to support an important tunnel rehabilitation project, which required weekly closures of one of the tubes. When one tunnel tube is closed completely, traffic is merged into one lane at the tunnel approaches in both directions. Traffic is then crossed over into the other tube with both lanes open for bi-directional traffic.

As part of this project, Versilis was selected to implement an Automated Lane Closure System that would bring important safety and efficiency benefits to this traffic operation and for repetitive maintenance activities.

Project Scope

The ALCS consists of automated gates, mounted to the median barrier that “swing” out to close the left travel lane when activated by the Tunnel Operations Room. The two series of gates located at each tunnel approach include eight gates of variable lengths mounted at every 100’ creating a taper, followed by a tangent section of full-length gates mounted at every 250’ from the end of the taper to the crossover.

The gates replace the channelizing devices and eliminate the need for Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and contractor personnel from having to install channelizers under live traffic conditions. Other ITS devices deployed as part of this TTMS project include dynamic message signs (DMS) at tunnel approaches, CCTV cameras, lane use control signs, traffic light signals, and illuminated pavement markers.

Safe & Efficient Tunnel Closures

Safety benefits

  • Reduced worker exposure to live traffic (decrease of 140,000 manhours of exposure over three years)*
  • Increased motorist compliance & safety with the use of highly visible crash tested gates

Operational Benefits

  • Reduced time to implement and breakdown closures by 35 minutes (33%)*
  • Reduced traffic control costs and prolonged maintenance of traffic (MOT) operations (annual traffic control man hour savings: over 3,600 hours)*
  • Source: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Versilis traffic management system at Tuscarora [Tunnel] is working great. Thanks for your efforts throughout the entire process.

Manager of Incident Management & Traffic Operations

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission


Tuscarora Tunnel: New Advanced Traffic Management

Learn how the Automated Lane Closure System installed at each tunnel approach facilitates the lane shifts required as part of tunnel closure operations.

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