Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

    C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E

        CONTACT: Kathy Liebler or Lowman Henry                                       June 4, 1997
        CONTACT: (717) 939-9551 Ext. # 2850


        Harrisburg, PA -- Turnpike Commissioners today awarded a $20.8 million contract to Mashuda Corporation for Mon/Fayette construction in Washington County.
        The contract, valued at $20,859,663, involves the construction of dual bridges, each about 1,000 feet long and 200 feet high, to carry the highway over Maple Creek, the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad, and State Route 2016 in Fallowfield Township. Work also includes grading and drainage necessary to construct approximately 1.3 miles of the expressway.
        Mashuda Corporation, based in Cranberry Township, Butler County, was the lowest responsible bidder and will finish the construction no later than November 10, 1999. Turnpike Commission Chairman James F. Malone III, noting that Mashuda's $20.8 million bid was 13 percent under the Turnpike's $24 million estimate, said "We are very pleased with the price and we are very pleased we'll be working with a familiar general contractor from right here in western Pennsylvania. This contract award represents significant progress toward the construction of the Mon/Fayette Expressway."
        Construction Section 52B2 is part of the 17-mile Mon/Fayette Expressway Project from Interstate 70 in Fallowfield Township to PA Route 51 in Jefferson Borough, Allegheny County. Final environmental clearance for the project was received in May 1994 from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. That allowed the Turnpike Commission to proceed with final design of the alignment identified in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the acquisition of required rights-of-way.
        The I-70 to Route 51 Project, which will link the existing six-mile Turnpike 43 toll road between I-70 and U.S. Route 40 in the California area to create some 23 miles of expressway travel convenience, is scheduled to open in 2001. It is one of four prospective components of the proposed 65-mile Mon/Fayette Expressway that would stretch south from Pittsburgh to Interstate 68 near Morgantown, W.VA., largely through the Monongahela River Valley.
        Turnpike Commissioners anticipate letting construction contracts before 1998 for more than one-third of the I-70 to Route 51 Expressway and virtually all of the Pennsylvania portion of the 12-mile Mon/Fayette "Mason Dixon Link" between I-68 in Monongalia County, West Virginia and PA Route 43 in Fairchance, Fayette County. Final environmental clearance for the Mason Dixon Link was received in September 1994. It is scheduled to open in late 1999.
        The Turnpike Commission is continuing to study alignments in the two other Mon/Fayette study areas - from Uniontown to Brownsville and from Route 51 to Pittsburgh. An environmental Impact Statement must be submitted for each of those projects.
        Today's action increases to five the number of Mon/Fayette Expressway construction contracts the Turnpike Commission has awarded since October 1994. The five contracts represent an investment of about $35.5 million. A Washington County firm - Alex E. Paris Contracting of Atlasburg - is constructing 4.5 acres of wetlands near Peters Creek in South Park Township, Allegheny County, to replace wetlands being lost elsewhere as a result of the I-70 to Route 51 Project.
        Through November 1996, the Turnpike Commission had expended $ 116.4 million on the four Mon/Fayette projects, including environmental impact studies, preliminary engineering and right-of-way acquisitions.
        The Pennsylvania General Assembly authorized the Turnpike Commission to plan, construct and operate the Mon/Fayette Expressway in Act 61 of 1985.


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649