March 21, 2017 Press Release:
Commissioners freeze project spending due to apparent lack of support
The project from PA Route 51 to I-376 is the largest and most expensive of the four Mon/Fayette projects. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project was approved in December, 2004. Design was started in 2004 but halted in 2009 due to lack of funding. Act 89 has provided funding allowing for a restart of the project. In 2015, the PTC performed studies to identify how the originally conceived project could be modified to be completed with the funding available through Act 89.
The final expressway alternative as described in the EIS started at an interchange with PA Route 51 in Jefferson Hills Borough and proceeded northward crossing the Monongahela River near Duquesne. At the Monongahela River, the project split into two legs; one leg proceeded northeast to an interchange with Interstate 376/Parkway East near Monroeville, the other leg proceeded west along the north shore of the river to an interchange with I-376, near Bates Street in Pittsburgh. Available funding provided by Act 89 requires a substantial reduction in the project cost and the Turnpike Commission has eliminated the west leg of the original project to reduce costs and residential and business displacements.
Reevaluation of the EIS is proceeding to determine the consequences of reducing the scope of the original project. When all environmental issues are satisfied, the Turnpike Commission intends to proceed with final design of the modified project.