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Pa. Turnpike retiring E-Z Pass signals at booths

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As part of a project to update toll equipment with modern hardware and software, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will decommission and remove the red, yellow and green traffic lights used let drivers know their E-Z Pass transponders were properly read.
As part of a project to update toll equipment with modern hardware and software, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will decommission and remove the red, yellow and green traffic lights used let drivers know their E-Z Pass transponders were properly read. - (Photo / )

The familiar three-light traffic signals in the E-Z Pass lanes at turnpike tollbooths in Pennsylvania are about to become history.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials on Friday said they began the process of removing the "outdated and cumbersome" signals and replacing them with technology that meets updated federal guidelines.

The switch also means the end of visual cues alerting drivers that their E-Z Pass transponders were properly read.

Instead, drivers should continue to travel through E-ZPass lanes at the posted speeds, and contact the Turnpike if they have any questions about their accounts.

Turnpike officials say the change will reduce stop-and-go traffic at interchanges across the 550-mile system.

"While the removal of signals may cause some initial confusion, it will soon become the norm as our customers adjust to the change," said Craig Shuey, the commission's COO.

Removal of the signals, first used in 2001, began Friday at the Harrisburg West Interchange (Exit 242). The process will continue at several interchanges each month until the upgrade is completed by the end of 2017.

Motorists may see the the decommissioned light stations wrapped in yellow plastic at some Harrisburg-area interchanges and at E-ZPass-only interchanges north and east of Philadelphia, officials said.

Anyone with questions about their E-ZPass account can call the PA Turnpike E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 877-736-6727, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rogerd@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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J Arnold March 23, 2017 8:15 pm

Why spend all that money to fix something that is not broke?

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