C O M M I S S I O N N E W S R E L E A S E
Thomas A. Fox (724) 755-5260, (724) 755-5142 Fax
March 6, 2003
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
(PTC) will host an open house public meeting from 5 to 9 pm Wednesday,
March 12 at West Mifflin High School to present its preliminary evaluation
of a multi-modal transportation concept submitted by Citizens for
Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture).
Invitation letters and fliers
announcing the public meeting have been sent to federal, state and local
officials, environmental resource agencies, PennFuture, and appropriate
community groups. In addition, block ads have been placed in local
PennFuture submitted the concept last
September during the official comment period for the Draft Environmental
Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for the proposed Mon/Fayette Expressway
Project from Pa. Route 51 to Interstate 376. The PennFuture concept was
presented as an option to alternatives already being considered for the
Since September, the PTC, in close
coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT), has been evaluating
the PennFuture concept in accordance with the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable regulations and policies.
The purpose of the open house is to
present preliminary findings about the PennFuture concept and obtain
public input. The PTC, PENNDOT and FHWA are encouraging the public to
attend on March 12 and to comment on the PennFuture concept.
The preliminary findings are based on
an evaluation of the PennFuture concept in terms of its ability to meet
identified project needs, estimated displacements that would result from
the acquisition of required right-of-way, and estimated costs.
Following the public meeting, input
received will be considered and the evaluation will be completed. The PTC,
together with PENNDOT and FHWA, will then determine the next steps to be
taken in compliance with the NEPA. Results
of the evaluation will be made public, most likely before Summer 2003.
The multi-modal concept presented by
PennFuture includes upgrading existing highways to urban boulevards,
constructing new urban boulevards, constructing a new transit route and
extending existing transit routes and trails.
It proposes a 62-mile network of urban boulevards within the Mon
The PennFuture concept would rebuild 52
miles of the existing network of roadways, including:
Pa. Route 51 – from the Turnpike
43/Pa. Route 51 Interchange to the Liberty Tunnels
Pa. Route 837 – from Pa. Route 51 to
the south side of Pittsburgh
Pa. Route 885 – from Lebanon Church
Road to Bates Street in Pittsburgh
Pa. Route 148 - from McKeesport to East
Pa. Route 48 – from Pa. Route 130 to
U.S. Route 22
Pa. Route 130 – from Turtle Creek to
Pa. Route 48
In addition, the concept proposes
another 10 miles of new boulevards be built on new right-of-way. These
boulevards are proposed as four-lane, controlled-access facilities, some
of which would include transit facilities, trails and parallel access
roads within their right-of-way.
The PennFuture concept also proposes
construction of a new transit line from downtown Pittsburgh through
Oakland and Hazelwood to Homestead and, ultimately, to Braddock. It also
proposes the extension of two other transit routes – the East Busway
from Rankin through Braddock and Turtle Creek to Monroeville, and the
South Hills light rail system to Century III Mall and on to the Turnpike
The rebuilding of the existing highway
network and the construction of new boulevards and transit lines would
affect many properties that front onto these new or widened transportation
The proposals in the PennFuture concept
may involve impacts to the following municipalities: City of Pittsburgh,
Baldwin, Bethel Park, Braddock, Brentwood, Clairton, Dravosburg, Duquesne,
East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Glassport, Homestead, Jefferson Hills,
McKeesport, Monroeville, Munhall, North Braddock, North Versailles, Penn
Hills, Pitcairn, Pleasant Hills, Rankin, Swissvale, Turtle Creek, West
Homestead, West Mifflin, Wilkins, Whitaker, White Oak and Wilmerding.
The DEIS for the Mon/Fayette Pa. Route
51-to-I-376 Project was circulated for public review and comment from May
31 through September 9, 2002. During that period, four open house plans
displays were held to answer questions and help the public locate
information contained in the DEIS and three public hearings were held to
record official testimony. Written
comments on the DEIS were accepted throughout the comment period.
In accordance with the NEPA and its
associated implementing regulations, the PTC, together with the PENNDOT
and the FHWA, have been reviewing and addressing all testimony/comments
received during the official comment period.
Only after all DEIS comments have been addressed and disclosed in a
Final EIS (FEIS), and comments on the FEIS have been fully considered,
will a Record of Decision (ROD) identifying a Selected Alternative be
issued by the FHWA.
P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676 Phone: (717) 939-9551 Fax: (717) 986-9649