These roadside relics won’t be on the Pa. Turnpike much longer

These roadside relics of the days before cellphones will soon be no more.

After Labor Day, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission┬áplans to remove its approximately 1,000 emergency call boxes that dot the commission’s 552 miles of highway across the state, including 217 on the Northeast Extension. Prior to mobile phones and traffic cameras, the call boxes were used by motorists to report emergencies or break-downs.

“Our review and analysis shows that use of those boxes has declined to the point that each box may only be used once a year, while maintenance of the call boxes costs $250,000 a year,” turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey said in a news release.