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 (412) 925-5462, (412) 925-5142 fax September 3, 1996
MAHONING RIVER BRIDGE TO BE NAMED IN FEE'S HONOR
NEW CASTLE - A public ceremony to mark the formal designation of the Mahoning
River Bridge on the Beaver Valley Expressway/James E. Ross Highway as the Thomas J. Fee
Bridge will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6 near the north end of the span.
Turnpike Commission Vice Chairman James J. Dodaro of White Oak will be the keynote
speaker for the event. New Castle attorney Kathleen Fee-Baird, one of six children of the
long-time state representative and current Lawrence County commissioner for whom the
bridge is being named, will serve as master of ceremonies. Music by the Mohawk High
School Band will open and close the program.
Other speakers will include state Senator Tim Shaffer, state Senator Gerald J. LaValle and
Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Ralph Pratt, a former state legislator.
Mr. Fee, a lifelong New Castle resident who began his public service career 30 years ago
as a New Castle City councilman, served 13 consecutive two-year terms (through 1994) as the
Ninth District's representative in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He won election
as a Lawrence County commissioner in November 1995.
His support was critical to the planning, design and construction of the Turnpike's Route
60 toll road in Lawrence and Beaver counties. Its full opening on November 20, 1992 closed
a 16-mile gap in divided highway, uninterrupted travel convenience between New Castle and
Beaver Falls, and has enhanced opportunities for economic development throughout the 55-
mile Route 60 corridor between Pittsburgh International Airport and Interstate 80 in the
"It was my father's dream to complete Pennsylvania Route 60 and connect our
community to the greater Pittsburgh area and other new markets," said Mrs. Baird.
Pittsburgh International Airport, which opened in October 1992, is less than an hour's
drive from the eastern edge of the Shenango Valley in southwest Mercer County. Turnpike 60
also provides quick, easy access to U.S. Route 422 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline
just south of the Lawrence-Beaver County border. Interstate 79 is only minutes away.
Turnpike 60 is a $259 million investment in western Pennsylvania's highway
infrastructure. No public tax dollars are involved.
The $21 million Mahoning River Bridge was opened on November 1, 1991, along with a
short stretch of the toll road between its northern terminus and the Mount Jackson/Pa. Route
108 interchange. The bridge is a deck plate girder span that carries the expressway 75 feet
above the river valley just south of the toll road's northern terminus. At 1,700 feet, it is the
fourth longest bridge on the Pennsylvania Turnpike system.
The bridge was built with 4,600 tons of high-strength, low-maintenance weathering steel
manufactured by Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Weathering steel reduces the number of piers
needed to support a bridge, is highly adaptable to redecking, widening and other structural
modifications, and does not require initial or maintenance painting.
National Engineering and Contracting Company of Strongsville, Ohio was the general
contractor. High Steel Structures of Lancaster was the steel fabricator. Middle States Steel
Construction Company of Eighty Four erected the steel. The bridge was designed by URS
Consultants of Akron, Ohio. Construction began in October 1989.
The Association for Bridge Construction and Design named the span the "Outstanding
New Bridge of 1991" in an award presented to the Turnpike Commission.
The bridge dedication ceremony will be held in a grassy area off the southbound lanes
just south of the southbound entrance ramp to Turnpike 60 from Pa. Route 60/U.S. Route
422. State police will provide traffic control and parking instructions. Regular traffic will not
P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676 Phone: (717) 939-9551 Fax: (717) 986-9649