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     

April 16, 1999


Preparatory work is to begin Monday, April 19 for a change in traffic patterns on the 2.3-mile section of Pa. Route 51 in Jefferson Hills Borough, Allegheny County that is being upgraded by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as part of its construction of the Mon/Fayette Expressway.

A one-lane-each-direction set up that took effect the first week in March will remain in effect through mid-November, as previously announced. At present, the inside lanes of Route 51 are carrying traffic in the direction they normally do. Effective Thursday, April 22, traffic in both directions will be carried in the northbound lanes of Route 51 from the southern end of the project area (near Brickyard Road) to the Large Fire Hall. A crossover at the fire hall will channel two-directional traffic into the southbound lanes of Route 51 through the northern end of the project area to just above Coal Valley Road.

This new configuration will remain in effect until further notice. In mid-November 1999, Route 51 will be re-opened to two lanes each direction for Winter 1999-2000.

Current two-way traffic may be temporarily shifted, as needed, as crews prepare for the new traffic pattern that will take effect Thursday, April 22.

Because of lane width requirements, there are no barriers separating the motoring public and construction workers. The Turnpike Commission asks that drivers follow posted traffic instructions and extend courtesy to fellow motorists. The Turnpike Commission is widening some 2.3 miles of Route 51 by 14 feet to create a center lane for left turns and make the roadway more accomodative to traffic that will be moving on and off the new Mon/Fayette Expressway. Related improvements include the reconstruction or relocation of five intersections and the construction or reconstruction of 13 structures such as box culverts, bridges and walls.

Dick Corporation of Jefferson Hills is the general contractor for the $18 million project, which is to conclude by mid-November 2000.

Construction updates and other information about the Route 51 rebuild is available on the Internet at www.paturnpike.com, go to Construction/Expansion, then go to Rt. 51 Construction.


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