Kathy Liebler

Manager, Public Affairs & Media Relations

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, 2003


HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has selected the firm of McTish, Kunkel & Associates, with offices in Rostraver and Allentown, to provide construction management services for the nearly six-mile Southern Beltway Project that will extend south from the Pa. Route 60 Expressway at Pittsburgh International Airport to U.S. Route 22 in Robinson Township, Washington County.

The five-member commission authorized negotiation of a formal contract with the company for an estimated amount of $12 million. The agreement will run for about 36 months.

Turnpike officials hope to break ground for the new expressway in Fall 2003 and expect the new highway to be ready for traffic within 26 to 30 months. It will be the first part of the proposed Southern Beltway, a 30-mile arc swinging south and east from the airport to Interstate 79 and, eventually, the Mon/Fayette Expressway in the mid-Monongahela River Valley, to advance to construction.

The primary responsibility of the construction manager is to oversee the work of the general contractors who will build the limited-access toll road.

“The Findlay Connector is a relatively short but critical piece of new transportation infrastructure that will better equip southwestern Pennsylvania to compete for people and private investment,” said Turnpike Executive Director Joe Brimmeier.

As an independent project with stand-alone utility, the Findlay Connector will bring Washington County and the Weirton, W.Va./Steubenville, Ohio area closer to the airport corridor by reducing travel times by at least 15 minutes.

The Findlay Connector also is a component of the 30-mile Southern Beltway, which ultimately will serve the Southpointe area, the mid-Mon Valley and even Monroeville and Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs as a direct link to the Turnpike’s growing Mon/Fayette Expressway system.

Construction costs are estimated at $160 million. The Findlay Connector will intersect with Route 22 in Robinson Township, Washington County, between Route 22’s Champion and Bavington interchanges. The intersecting roads at both end points are divided highways.

Between the end points (from north to south), interchanges will be built at U.S. Route 30 southeast of Clinton village and at the junction of Bald Knob Road, Ridge Road and Burgettstown Road. All interchanges north of Route 22 will be in Findlay Township, Allegheny County.

Direct access in and out of Pittsburgh International Airport will be provided at the north end of the project. In addition, two “missing” ramps at Route 60’s interchange with Clinton Road will be constructed and Route 30 will be widened at its interchange with the Findlay Connector to include a turning lane.

Opening year traffic on the Findlay Connector is estimated at 12,000 vehicles per day. That figure is expected to rise to 36,000 trips per day by 2025, assuming the rest of the Southern Beltway is open too.

The Findlay Connector is the one of three Southern Beltway projects being advanced by the Turnpike Commission and the only project now funded beyond the environmental clearance phase. Prospective alignments for the two other beltway projects are still under review.

Both the Mon/Fayette Expressway and Southern Beltway systems are being developed by the Turnpike Commission under the authorization of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Total costs are estimated at $4 billion. Approximately $1.6 billion, including $54 million in federal highway funding, is currently available for the projects.


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