Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media and Public Relations

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Tom Fox
Public Involvement Manager
724-755-5142, Fax

October 28, 2005




This is the first in a series of project updates the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) will periodically issue providing public information and updates on the Mon/Fayette Expressway PA Route 51 to I-376 Project as information becomes available.

Public dissemination of information will occur through the Mon/Fayette Expressway PA Route 51 to I-376 Project Office, PTC Press Releases, Project Updates and/or newsletters, the PTC Mon/Fayette Expressway PA Route 51 to I-376 Project website ( the Design Advisory Teams (DATs) website (, DAT Community Outreach Meetings, and through other channels as deemed appropriate.

Final Design is the detailed engineering necessary to advance the Mon/Fayette Expressway PA Route 51 to I-376 Project to construction and includes the determination of exact right-of-way boundaries. During this phase, project designers are refining the Selected Alternative and conducting field studies along the 24-mile project alignment to ensure sound construction.

The PTC expects the initial phase of Final Design to be completed for the various design sections between July 2006 and January 2007. As the initial phase is completed, the refinements will be complete enough that Right-of-Way (ROW) acquisition plans can be drawn and the PTC can begin acquiring property. Brochures detailing the ROW acquisition process and ROW specialists are available at the Project Office.

Upcoming Field Studies and Notice to Home Owners/Residents

Field studies may require the PTC to enter private property. The PTC wants residents to know that at no time will field staff need access inside their homes. The public should be wary of anyone claiming to be associated with the Mon/Fayette Expressway PA Route 51 to I-376 Project who requests to enter their home for any reason. All work will be conducted outside the home and property owners will receive Notices of Intent to Enter in advance of the field studies.

Between now and summer 2006, the public can expect to observe surveying crews, archaeologists and drill rigs working throughout the project area conducting engineering and/or environmental explorations. If ground is disturbed, field personnel are required to return each property to its previous condition upon completion of their work.

Utility studies began the weekend of October 22, 2005 on PA Route 885 in the City of Pittsburgh’s South Oakland, Greenfield and Hazelwood areas and will take place again the weekend of October 29. These studies, which will require daytime lane closures, involve the placement of video cameras underground to confirm the location of utilities. This information is of importance to the Design Team as work continues.

Project Office Hosts over 500 Visitors Since June Opening

The PTC Mon/Fayette Expressway PA Route 51 to I-376 Project Office, located at 1026 Duquesne Blvd. in Duquesne, PA (next to Kennywood Park), has welcomed more than 500 visitors since it opened to the public June 15, 2005. Most visitors have expressed concerns about property acquisition and noise impacts. To help address noise concerns, the PTC has published a new brochure entitled “Noise Analysis Facts for the Mon/Fayette Expressway”. This new brochure is available at the Project Office. A video, produced by PennDOT, entitled “Making Sound Decisions” may be viewed at the Project Office. Interested individuals are welcome to stop in to interact with Project Team members, obtain the latest project publications, access the PTC project website online, view project mapping and discuss right-of-way acquisition concerns. The staff is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Beginning November 3, 2005, Thursday office hours, adjusted for the fall/winter season, will be 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Additional hours are available by appointment. Project Office staff can be reached at (412) 469-9371 or by e-mail at

The Project Office is one of several mechanisms through which the public can learn about the project as it progresses through the Final Design Phase . Internet users can also find information posted on the Mon/Fayette Expressway, PA Route 51 to I-376 Project website, at

Design Advisory Teams (DATs)

Five Design Advisory Teams (DATs) were established to assist the PTC through the Final Design Process. The communities where DATs have been organized are those in which the design process requires additional coordination due to their uniquely sensitive design features, where there is a potential effect on community cohesion, and where there are a number of impacted properties. The communities are: Dravosburg, Braddock/Rankin/Swissvale, Turtle Creek, Nine Mile Run (City of Pittsburgh), and Glenwood to Bates Street (City of Pittsburgh).

The DATs are actively involved in the project, addressing issues that concern residents and local organizations and working with the PTC to produce a design that will best serve their communities. As issues are discussed, evaluated, and addressed, the results will be posted to the DAT website ( as “Decision Chronicles”.

Each DAT is developing public outreach plans unique to their community. The Dravosburg DAT held its first community meeting on October 21, 2005. Approximately 100 people attended the meeting. The Braddock/Rankin/Swissvale DAT also is planning its own community meeting. A date has not been set. For more information on DAT community events, DAT issues and DAT Decision Chronicles visit the website at, or send a request via e-mail to For those who do not have Internet access and want more information on the DATs, call the DAT hotline at 1-888-866-6329.


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