On October 1, 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened between Irwin and Carlisle as the first long-distance limited-access highway in the United States. It went through the mountains of Pennsylvania using seven tunnels built for the abandoned South Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1880s.
My parents always referred fondly to the Sunday day trips of their youth going up to and returning from the Howard Johnson’s at the Midway Plaza. Today, traveling the length of turnpike one way will cost you $39.05 which is a far cry from the $5.90 I used to spend when I went back and forth from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in my college days. Add to that the cost of a tank of fuel and there is nothing left to that old ideal of a leisurely drive.