Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717-920-7176
Bill Capone
Phone: 717-939-9551, ext. 3040
May 21, 2009

Pa. Turnpike Completes $132 Million Reconstruction & Widening Project in Lawrence, Beaver Counties

Westernmost 10 miles of road near Ohio renewed in time for Memorial Day weekend.

HARRISBURG, PA (05/21/2009; 1208)(readMedia)-- Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Joe Brimmeier today announced completion of the total reconstruction and widening of the turnpike's east-west mainline between milepost 0 at the Ohio border and milepost 10 near the New Castle/Beaver Falls exit. This $132 million project, which began in November of 2005 at milepost 240.6 of the Ohio Turnpike, included the total, ground-up reconstruction of the roadway including new drainage, shoulders and median plus the addition of a third lane in each direction.

"When I started as turnpike CEO in 2003, our entire highway capital budget was about $150 million a year, and today, we're investing nearly that in a single project," Brimmeier said. "This level of investment illustrates the Turnpike Commission's commitment to improve the highway, section by section." (By comparison, the turnpike forecasts spending in excess of $385 million on its highway capital plan in fiscal 2009 ending May 31.)

The milepost 0-10 project is the latest installment in a commission initiative, begun in 1999, to completely rebuild the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the ground up. "To date, 11 reconstruction projects totaling 68.5 miles have been completed," Brimmeier added. "We presently have three other reconstruction projects under way across the system that will eventually result in 19 miles of new highway at a cost of almost $350 million."

The milepost 0-10 project, which spans Lawrence and Beaver counties, also involved an overhaul of the Gateway toll plaza, including reconstruction of six traditional cash lanes plus the addition of two highway-speed E-ZPass lanes. Four bridges that carry Huston Road, State Route 351, State Route 551 and Rosalyn Road over the Turnpike were replaced as well as four new at-grade bridges in this corridor.

"This project represents a major boost for the region's transportation infrastructure, but we're not stopping here," Brimmeier said. "Regionally, we have five major construction projects that are done or under way that add up to more than $591 million of turnpike improvements between the Ohio line and New Stanton." Besides the Milepost 0-10 project, Brimmeier said the commission is investing significantly in these four other improvement projects in southwestern Pennsylvania:

  • The turnpike received a low bid of $113.2 million to reconstruct 6.8 miles of mainline between milepost 31 and milepost 38 in Allegheny County just west of the Butler Valley exit.
  • The turnpike in replacing the Allegheny River Bridge at a cost of $190 million.
  • The commission is rebuilding and widening 8 miles of mainline between the Irwin and New Stanton interchanges (milepost 67 to 75) at a cost of $150 million.
  • And it just re-opened the New Stanton Service Plaza which was re-constructed at a cost of $5.9 million.

"Today, our customers can see first hand how the tolls they're paying are being reinvested to provide a better, safer traveling experience on the turnpike," Brimmeier concluded.

The milepost 0-10 reconstruction included three contracts totaling $132.5 million: Total reconstruction of milepost 0-2 was completed by Joseph B. Fay Co. in 2007 at a cost of $22 million. A design/build contract for two bridge replacements (Huston Road and Route 351) was also finished by Fay Co. in November 2006 at a cost of $5.4 million. And the third contract was a design/build for milepost 2 to milepost 9.3, including two overhead bridges, begun in January 2007 and completed in May 2009 by a Fay Co./Norwin Construction joint venture at a cost of $105 million. Construction manager for the milepost 0-10 corridor was TRC from Export, Pa. Design manager was Urban Engineers, and designer of the 0-10 corridor was AECOM (formerly known as DMJM+Harris).