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)
May 24, 2002
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Section 4(f)
Evaluation for the proposed Mon/Fayette Expressway Project between Pa.
Route 51 in Jefferson Hills and Interstate 376 (the Parkway East) in
Pittsburgh and Monroeville will be available for public review and comment
beginning Friday, May 31, 2002.
five-volume document, which includes a Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit
Application, will be available for public review May 31 through August 14,
2002, at local municipal offices, area libraries and other locations.
Wednesday, August 14 will mark the close of the 75-day circulation period
and the close of the official comment period.
DEIS/Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation may be obtained in CD-ROM form, for a
nominal fee, by contacting the Turnpike Commission’s Western Regional
Office at 724-755-5263.
comments on the DEIS should be sent to David P. Willis, Environmental
Manager, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA
17106-7676. Written comments on the Section 404 Permit Application should
be sent to Rich Sobol, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Branch, 1000 Liberty Avenue, 1834 Federal Building, Pittsburgh,
also can be presented in oral or written form during any of three public
hearings that will be held in July. The public hearings will be held from
1 to 9 pm Tuesday, July 16 at West Mifflin High School; Tuesday, July 23
at Burgwin Elementary School in Hazelwood; and Thursday, July 25 at the
Monroeville Expo Mart.
public hearing will include a display of plans where people can review
maps and information, including the anticipated impacts of alternatives
that were studied in detail. Representatives of the Turnpike Commission
and the Army Corps of Engineers will give formal presentations at 2 pm and
following the formal presentations, oral testimony can be given and will
be recorded for the official record by a stenographer. Speakers will be
limited to five minutes but can submit more detailed written testimony to
supplement their oral testimony.
also will have the option of giving oral testimony in private, either to a
stenographer or a tape recorder, anytime between 1 and 9 pm. Private oral
testimony also will be included in the official record.
advance of the public hearings, the Turnpike Commission will host four
open house plans displays so that interested citizens can review mapping
and ask questions about the DEIS, the recommended preferred alternative
for the expressway project, right-of-way acquisition and relocation
procedures and the Section 404 Permit Application.
informational sessions will be held from 1 to 8 pm Thursday, June 13 at
the Monroeville Expo Mart; Tuesday, June 18 at the Braddock Volunteer Fire
Department #2 Social Hall; Tuesday, June 25 at Burgwin Elementary School;
and Tuesday, July 9 at West Mifflin High School.
North Shore and South Shore Alternatives presented in the DEIS are 24-mile
tolled expressways extending north from Route 51 in Jefferson Hills to
interchanges with I-376 in Pittsburgh and Monroeville. After passing
through Jefferson Hills, both traverse West Mifflin, western Dravosburg,
West Mifflin again and Duquesne. The eastern leg of the project
(approximately six miles, also common to both alternatives) begins in
North Versailles after crossing the Monongahela River on a new bridge
between Duquesne and North Versailles and traverses East Pittsburgh,
Turtle Creek, Wilkins, and Penn Hills before linking with the Parkway East
two alternatives diverge for the western leg of the project (approximately
10 miles) with one on the north side of the Mon River and one on the south
side of the Mon River. They share a common terminus at a connection with
the Parkway East near the Pittsburgh Technology Center in the area of
Second Avenue and Bates Street.
South Shore Alternative for the western leg would require a second, new
Mon River bridge exclusively within the City of Pittsburgh, approximately
1.5 miles east of the Birmingham Bridge.
“No-Build” Alternative also is presented in detail in the DEIS.
recommended preferred alternative is the North Shore Alternative,
traversing North Braddock, Braddock, Rankin and Swissvale before entering
the City of Pittsburgh.
the reasons for that preference:
officials from the 19 municipalities in the study corridor, as well as
Allegheny County officials, overwhelmingly favor the North Shore
expressing a preference in written comments from public meetings held in
March and April 2001 showed strong support for the North Shore
costs associated with the South Shore Alternative are estimated at nearly
$2.7 billion, some $788 million more than estimated construction costs
associated with the North Shore Alternative.
South Shore Alternative would displace the Pennsylvania American Water
Company pumping station along the Mon River in Baldwin, which supplies
over 130,000 customers. The facility could not be relocated close by and
permit restrictions would limit the intake of water from any replacement
facility to such a degree that water company needs may not be met.
South Shore Alternative would displace 2.7 miles of proposed right-of-way
for the Steel Valley Trail, with no opportunity for replacement, while the
North Shore Alternative would accommodate all currently proposed
riverfront trail projects.
North Shore Alternative would provide improved access to abandoned
brownfield sites in Duquesne, Penn Hills, Rankin and Swissvale and would
provide direct access to the Duquesne City Center and Carrie Furnace
brownfield sites by adding access ramps from local roads into the sites,
over active railroad lines.
South Shore Alternative would conflict with land use plans being
implemented at The Waterfront and the South Side Works, the two most
advanced brownfield redevelopment projects within the study corridor.
South Shore Alternative would place 14 piers in the Mon River in the
vicinity of the Union Railroad barge loading facility in Duquesne,
restricting navigational access, particularly during high-water periods.
purpose of the Mon/Fayette Expressway Project from Route 51 to Interstate
376 is to provide improved transportation access to economically depressed
Mon Valley communities, to encourage redevelopment of abandoned industrial
sites, to encourage revitalization of neighborhoods and to relieve traffic
congestion on existing roadways in southeastern Allegheny County.
reviewing comments on the DEIS the Turnpike Commission, in conjunction
with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) and the U.S.
Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will
prepare and circulate a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for
public review and comment.
FEIS will address comments received at the public hearings and during the
DEIS comment period.
P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676 Phone: (717) 939-9551 Fax: (717) 986-9649