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:  Joe Agnello, (724) 755-5262, (724) 755-5142 fax
                e-mail: jagnello@paturnpike.com


February 1, 2000 


The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission today awarded the final roadway construction contract for the 17-mile Mon/Fayette Expressway Project between Interstate 70 in Fallowfield Township, Washington County and Pa. Route 51 in Jefferson Hills Borough, Allegheny County.

Swank Associated Companies, Inc. of New Kensington, the lowest of five bidders, was awarded a $21,813,033 contract to construct the interchange with Route 51 in Jefferson Hills at the northern end of the 17-mile project. This interchange also will serve as the northern terminus of the Mon/Fayette Expressway system until the Route 51-to-Interstate 376 "Pittsburgh leg" is built.

A 2.3-mile stretch of Route 51 in Jefferson Hills is being widened and reconstructed by another local contractor (Dick Corporation) to facilitate traffic flow on and off of the new expressway. The PTC-contracted improvements to Route 51 will be completed before Labor Day. The I-70-to-Route 51 Mon/Fayette Expressway Project is targeted for completion in late 2001.

Swank Associated’s contract to build the interchange with Route 51 includes construction of a 450-space "park-and-ride" lot east of Route 51 and adjacent to Peters Creek Road that will be turned over to and maintained by the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

Peters Creek Road’s intersection with Route 51 will be reconstructed. A new Peters Creek Road approximately 2,400 feet long will be built slightly southeast of its present location to create room for the park-and-ride facility.

Under current plans, future construction of the Pittsburgh leg would include a direct connection from the park-and-ride for vehicles heading north on the expressway.

The two northbound and two southbound lanes of the I-70-to-Route 51 Project will be carried over Route 51 on separate bridges in the area of the former Eat ‘N Park restaurant, one 1,200 feet long and the other 1,400 feet long. After crossing over Route 51, the ramps will return to grade and intersect with a new 2,000-foot connector to Route 51 that will be known as Jefferson Boulevard.

Jefferson Boulevard will intersect with Route 51 between Three Rivers Bank and the post office and will link with a relocated Payne Hill Road a short distance east of Route 51. Payne Hill Road’s existing intersection with Route 51 will be removed and replaced with a cul-de-sac.

Northbound motorists on Route 51 will be able to turn right onto Jefferson Boulevard to access the Mon/Fayette Expressway. Southbound motorists on Route 51 will be able to access the expressway via a one-lane flyover ramp to the right that will shoot off of Route 51 in the area of the former Marion’s Tavern, cross over Route 51 and flow into Jefferson Boulevard.

This is the first Mon/Fayette Expressway construction contract awarded to Swank Associated Companies.

To date, the Commission has awarded Mon/Fayette construction contracts totaling nearly $474 million. Companies based in southwestern Pennsylvania have won all but $27 million of that work.

The $474 million includes $384 million worth of construction contracts for the I-70-to-Route 51 Project and $90 million worth of construction contracts for the Pennsylvania side of the Mon/Fayette Expressway’s Mason Dixon Link in Fayette County.

Each of the Turnpike Commission’s two other Mon/Fayette Expressway projects – the Pittsburgh leg and the Uniontown-to-Brownsville Area Project – is in the environmental review phase.

Ultimately, the Mon/Fayette Expressway would stretch some 65 miles south from Pittsburgh through the Monongahela River Valley and western Fayette County to Interstate 68 just east of Morgantown, W.Va.


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