Penn Pike gets approval for S Beltway US22 to I-79 - P3 prospect
By Peter Samuel
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has received federal approval for plans for the second segment of the three segment of the Southern Beltway, southwest of Pittsburgh. The FHWA record of decision approves the planned location and concept of the 2+2 lane toll expressway after alternatives analysis and public hearings. The approved segment is between US22 and I-79, the purple section in the map.
The 21.4km (13.3 mile) portion just approved is estimated to cost $660m and will extend the Beltway counter-clockwise to about 32km (20 miles) in length. The first segment from PA60 near the entry to Pittsburgh International Airport to US22 has been called the Findlay Connector. It opened for traffic in Oct 2006.
During public consultation the Turnpike redesigned the I-79 interchange from three levels to two to meet local objections about its height. It also added some local access ramps so people nearby could use the facility more readily.
The new stretch will have four intermediate interchanges as well as the interchanges at US22 and I-79.
105 housing properties will be taken for right of way.
The Turnpike has awarded contracts for detailed design work but the Turnpike says it can't raise money to go to construction.
The Turnpike says their projections are for 30k trips/day on the road by 2030. It will take traffic off PA980 a 2-lane rural surface road it will largely parallel.
The third and final segment between I-79 and the Mon Fayette Expressway (PA43) is in an advanced stage of planning review (tan in the map). Federal approval for that is expected late this year or early 2009.
Both these two segments of the Southern Beltway and the Mon Fayette Expressway's Y-plan northern segment (PA51 to I-376 and yellow in the map) are the subject of a possible private toll concession or P3 for which the Turnpike Commission is holding an information meeting in Harrisburg Sept 17.