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:   Thomas A. Fox, (724) 755-5260, (724) 755-5142 fax,
                  e-mail: tfox@paturnpike.com    

February 17, 1999


The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission yesterday awarded Mashuda Corporation of Butler County a $27.1 million contract to construct 2.2 miles of the Mon/Fayette Expressway through the Peters Creek Valley in Jefferson Hills Borough, Allegheny County.

Construction Section 52K is near the northern terminus of the 17-mile Mon/Fayette Expressway Project that will extend north from Interstate 70 in Fallowfield Township, Washington County to Pa. Route 51 in Jefferson Hills.

Excluding a related rebuild of Route 51 in Jefferson Hills, it the first construction section in Allegheny County for which a general contractor has been selected. The deadline for completion is September 1, 2001.

In addition to the construction of 2.2 miles of concrete-surfaced, four-lane highway, the contract includes grading for a mainline toll plaza, erection of dual steel plate girder bridges (155 feet long and 26 feet high) to carry the expressway over Gill Hall Road and some abutments and piers for ramps at the interchange with Route 51. Superstructure and the remainder of the ramp piers and abutments for the interchange at Route 51 will be completed as part of another construction section.

Eight bids for Construction Section 52 K were opened January 21, 1999, at the Turnpike’s central office near Harrisburg. After review, Mashuda was the deemed the lowest qualified bidder at $27,151,848. Five of the eight bids, including the lowest four, were from southwestern Pennsylvania companies. The highest bid was $36.3 million.

This is the sixth Mon/Fayette Expressway construction section that has been contracted to Mashuda. Mashuda’s six contracts – four on the I-70-to-Route 51 Project and two on the Mon/Fayette’s Mason Dixon Link in Fayette County – total more than $97 million.

Yesterday’s award boosts to more than $294 million the value of all Mon/Fayette Expressway construction contracts awarded by the Turnpike Commission since October 1994. The sum includes 10 contracts totaling $204.8 million for the I-70-to-Route 51 Project and 10 contracts totaling $89.6 million for the eight-mile Pennsylvania leg of the 12-mile Mason Dixon Link.

Companies based in southwestern Pennsylvania have won some $267 million of the $294 million worth of Mon/Fayette construction contracts awarded to date.

All construction contracts for the Pennsylvania leg of the Mason Dixon link have been awarded. It is targeted for completion late this year. The expressway from I-70 to Route 51 is scheduled for completion in late 2001. The Turnpike Commission expects to complete bidding for its remaining construction sections by the end of the year.

Prospective alignments for two other Mon/Fayette Expressway projects are under study as the Turnpike Commission continues to gather data for Environmental Impact Statements. One of those is the Pittsburgh link, which is to extend north from Route 51 in Jefferson Hills to connections with Interstate 376 in the City and near Monroeville. The other project in the environmental study phase is from Uniontown to the Brownsville area.

The completed Mon/Fayette Expressway would stretch about 65 miles south from Pittsburgh through the Monongahela River Valley and western Fayette County to Interstate 68 in West Virginia, just east of Morgantown.

Two small pieces of the expressway are in operation. One is a six-mile toll road (Turnpike 43) between I-70 and U.S. Route 40 in the California area that opened in 1990. The other is the non-toll, 3.5-mile Chadville Demonstration Project (Pa. Route 43) between U.S. Route 119 and Pa. Route 857 just south of Uniontown. It opened in 1992. 

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