The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Sunoco Inc. have opened three compressed natural gas fueling dispensers at the Turnpike's New Stanton Service Plaza located at milepost 77.6 westbound in Hempfield Township, southeast of Pittsburgh.

The dispensers, one for passenger vehicles, one for commercial trucks, and one located outside the plaza gate for use by off-Turnpike vehicles, are Sunoco's first CNG offering in Pennsylvania since the 1990s.

"CNG is especially popular among commercial truck fleets, and this plaza was selected in part because this stretch has a higher volume of truck traffic than most," said Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. "Our average westbound traffic here is more than 17,500 vehicles per day; about a third of that, or 5,300 vehicles a day, is commercial vehicles, more than double our average, system-wide truck volume of 13%"

The Pennsylvania Turnpike last year added a pair of CNG-fueled trucks to its maintenance fleet: a single-axle Freightliner dump truck for plowing and salt application and a Mack tractor truck used to transport heavy equipment on a lowboy trailer. The trucks, both of which will be fueled at the New Stanton Plaza, are being used as part of a pilot project to test the effectiveness of CNG, according to the turnpike authority.