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  1. #1
    laurelreb Guest

    Default I-80 vs. I-76 across PA???

    Next week, are driving the first leg of a 10 day road trip. We are going from Philadelphia, PA to Detroit, MI on day(s) 1 (and 2) . When studying the map and speaking with folks at AAA, PENNDOT, VISIT PA, and the Turnpike we were given a variety of sometimes conflicting information regarding the two major routes across Pennsylvania. We understand that there is some construction on both routes, but more on I-80. We are weighing the pros and cons on each route, hoping to figure out which one is the best for our family with young children. Our goals on this part of our trip are:

    Quicker trip
    More Scenic Trip
    More interesting roadside attractions
    Fewer delays/construction

    Does anyone know which of these two routes would best meet our needs????

    Thanks you so much for your information.

  2. Default Six of one...

    I'm not experienced with I-80 across PA, but I have driven the turnpike numerous times. I suspect the scenery is similar along both routes. The turnpike has recently been improved, I've read, so that it no longer deserves the reputation of being one of the most degraded interstates in the country (since the late 90s). That's what I read, anyway, on the state's website.

    In PA, I'm much more likely to get off the interstates and use the other main roads wherever possible, although that does cost you some time (although maybe not as much as you think). I'd do this because I really enjoy two lane roads and the less hurried travel possible on them. It's always easier for me to slow down and relax if I'm off the interstate.

    I looked at road construction on each route, and I counted 6 sections on each of these routes under construction at the present time -- so greatly depending on what the delays and lengths are, that seems at least like it might be a wash.

    Grab yourself a good paper map, fairly large scale, and see what attractions lie along each of these routes, then choose accordingly. You can also pull up PA's website -- most have an online presence -- and see what you can find there. Others may weigh in here with more specific information than I can provide, so also keep checking back for additional responses. Welcome to the forum! Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default ...Half a Dozen of the Other

    There is a third alternative, and that is to split the difference and use I-76 (The PA Tpk) for the eastern portion of your trip and I-80 for the western portion. You would then connect from Harrisburg to State College via US-22 and US-322, and finally PA-26 to get on I-80. I've driven this route several times and it is both scenic and relaxing as it winds up through the Susquehanna and Juanita River valleys. It does have some two lane portions, but for the most part is 4-lane, controlled access. You can make your final decission closer to your departure time by checking the PENNDOT road construction page to see the state of construction along the various routes.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-11-2005 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Correct route number: PA-26

  4. #4
    laurelreb Guest

    Default Thanks

    Thanks Moderator Bob and AZ Buck!!!! And those were cute titles!!!! I have been studying the maps and related websites and Penndot and the Turnpike and options in between. I was told that there was a lot of construction and traffic on the State College road option, too. I think that more than likely we will just go on I-80 and hope for the best. We also did look at the roaside attractions and scenic status.........unless someone tells me something awful about this route.....I think we will stick to it. Does anyone recommend any roadside places, in particular???

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