Restrictions will go into place this evening as a snowstorm approaches.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With expected snow, road crews are preparing, and there will be vehicle restrictions going into effect later today.

Starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Level 1 Vehicle Restrictions will go into place on the Parkway West outbound from the Ft. Pitt Tunnel to I-79. This restriction applies more to commercial vehicles, but for most drivers it means, no trailers, RVs, or motorcycles.

Under Level 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:

  • Tractors without trailers;
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers;
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers;
  • Enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV;
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers;
  • Recreational vehicles/motorhomes;
  • School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches; and
  • motorcycles.

“The reason for that is 3-6 inches on Greentree Hill can be difficult for any motorist but for empty trucks it’s easy for them to get stuck on the hill,” PennDOT District 11 Spokesperson Steve Cowan said.

The same restrictions will go into effect at 3 p.m. for I-79 from I-80 to I-90.

“The last thing anyone wants is a crash on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day,” Cowan said over the phone.

Allegheny County Public Works will have 24 trucks out in the storm. It expects snow to start sticking around 10 tonight. Pittsburgh Public Works will have about 50-60 working 12 hour shifts starting at ten. PennDOT will have a full complement of trucks ready to go.

“There are no material issues at this point. It’s still early in the season,” Cowan told KDKA.

One of the challenges with this storm is pretreatment is not an option because of the rain coming before the snow.

Crews are asking drivers to stay off the roads if possible. They say less traffic will make it easier to clear the roads and dropping temperatures could cause ice to form.

“We are concerned after the storm is over, the temperatures are going to plummet,” Cowan said.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike implemented travel restrictions at 8 p.m. From the Ohio line to New Stanton, there is a 45 mph speed restriction and commercial vehicles must use the right lane only.

If you do have to go out, you are asked to keep your distance between you and the car in front of you, give yourself extra time to get to your destination and give plows their space so they can get the road clear for traffic.