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


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

August 1, 2000



The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Mon/Fayette Expressway Project between Uniontown and the Brownsville Area will be available for public review and comment beginning Friday, August 4.

The three-volume document for the 15-mile toll road project will be available August 4, 2000, through September 5, 2000, at local municipal offices and other public locations. A complete list of locations is included with this release. Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2000, will mark the close of the 30-day comment period on the FEIS.

Written comments concerning the FEIS should be submitted to David P. Willis, Environmental Manager, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676. Written comments concerning the project's effects on aquatic resources should be submitted to Rich Sobol, Chief of Regulatory Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1834 Federal Office Building, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

Volume I of the FEIS contains detailed analyses of two expressway options, known as the North and South alternatives, as well as a No-Build Alternative. Volume II contains maps of the North and South alternatives.

Volume III includes comments and testimony received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which was circulated Nov. 5, 1999, through Jan. 7, 2000 and the subject of a public hearing held Dec. 9, 1999, at Brownsville Area High School, and addresses all substantive comments received on the DEIS.

The purpose of the project is to provide safer, more efficient traffic flow northwest from Uniontown to the Brownsville area by improving access and addressing projected capacity requirements. The project also is being designed to support the efforts of the National Road Heritage Park, which are to make U.S. Route 40 less of a main thoroughfare and more of a tourist destination.

As in the DEIS, the North Alternative is identified in the FEIS as the Preferred Alternative.

It runs north of and generally parallel to U.S. Route 40 from an interchange with Pa. Route 51 and U.S. Route 119 in North Union Township, Fayette County. It crosses to the south of U.S. Route 40 in Luzerne Township, just east of Brownsville Borough, and then crosses a new Monongahela River bridge to a northwest terminus at Pa. Route 88 in Centerville Borough, Washington County.

Both end points have direct links to existing north-south expressways that would serve as parts of the Mon/Fayette Expressway system.

Between the end points interchanges would be located at a relocated Fan Hollow Road and a relocated Old Pittsburgh Road in North Union Township, at Searights Crossroads in Menallen Township, on a new Brownsville Connector in Redstone Township that would tie in to the "stub end" of the four-lane U.S. Route 40, and at a relocated State Route 4003 (Bull Run Road) in Luzerne Township.

The South Alternative would utilize the same end points as the North Alternative. It generally parallels U.S. Route 40 to the south after crossing to the south of the National Road just west of Uniontown.

Between the end points, interchanges on the South Alternative would be located at an improved Duck Hollow Road in South Union Township, on a new U.S. Route 40 Connector west of Searights Crossroads, at U.S. Route 40 and Pa. Route 166 in Redstone Township and at a relocated Bull Run Road in Luzerne Township.

The North Alternative is identified as the Preferred Alternative because:

  • it would provide more direct access to and from the Brownsville area, an important factor in raising prospects for the Brownsville area's economic revitalization.
  • it would be closer and would provide better access to support development along Pa. Route 51 and U.S. Route 119 in the Uniontown area, existing four-lane highways that traverse areas with municipal water and sewage service.
  • it would require fewer residential displacements, impact fewer acres of wetlands and would have substantially less impact on streams and associated habitats.
  • its proposed underpass of U.S. Route 40 would be less intrusive to the National Road in terms of visual impacts and noise.
  • it would serve via an improved Fan Hollow Road/Duck Hollow Road a Fayette County development site that has been designated a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ). No prime county land would be required for the expressway's right-of-way.
  • construction costs are estimated at about $40 million less than construction costs for the South Alternative ($360 million versus $400 million).

Minor changes have been made to preliminary engineering plans shown at the December 9 public hearing/open house, in response to comments received on the DEIS.

At the first interchange coming from Uniontown toward Brownsville, the section of Old Pittsburgh Road to be relocated has been shortened to reduce impacts in the area of Mount Saint Macrina. Also, at U.S. Route 40 south of the interchange, Fan Hollow and Duck Hollow roads would be relocated to a signalized intersection for improved access to the Fayette County-owned KOZ.

Downstream from the new Mon River bridge (on the Brownsville side), the point where a relocated Luzerne Township Road 603 (Alicia Heights Road) would tie in to State Route 4022 (Alicia Road) has been moved a short distance to the south and farther away from Brownsville-Luzerne Park.

At the Brownsville Connector interchange, a bridge that would carry Redstone Township Road 422 (Davidson Road) over the new expressway has been eliminated. Instead, a relocated Calvin Run Road connector would be extended approximately one-half mile from Davidson Road to the new Brownsville Connector.

Comments on the FEIS will be reviewed and evaluated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

FHWA approval of the FEIS (a Record of Decision, anticipated in Fall 2000) would allow the Turnpike Commission to proceed with final design of the project. The Commonwealth's current financial commitment ($73.5 million) is to advance the project through final design and right-of-way acquisition.

(Click here to view a listing of the locations
where the FEIS will be available for review.)


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