Project would create new jobs and spur redevelopment efforts in the Mon Valley
HARRISBURG - Rep. Mike Puskaric (R-Allegheny/Washington) announced today he has been working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to unveil plans to connect the Mon/Fayette Expressway (MFE) to the Route 885 corridor.
The plans will focus on a roughly 3-mile stretch of highway that will start from the proposed MFE interchange near the county airport and connect to the Route 885 corridor. Initially, the Mon/Fayette expressway was intended to connect directly to the City of Pittsburgh. Due to budget limitations, the plan was abandoned. The previous price tag was roughly $1 billion. This proposal would cost a fraction of that.
“This 3-mile section of expressway makes too much sense to pass up,” Puskaric said. “For years, we have been promised that we would finally have our corridor into the city. We put up the funds, but Harrisburg never delivered. Now we have a proposal to address our highway needs and save the taxpayers a substantial amount of money in the process.” Initial estimates range from roughly $200 million to $300 million depending on design specifications.
Puskaric noted that the blueprint for southwestern Pennsylvania includes completing our highways and developing mass transit systems. Connecting residents to the major economic drivers in the region is the goal.
“If you could get from Morgantown to Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Airport to Pittsburgh International, and anywhere in between in less than an hour, we would have growth in our region like never before,” said Puskaric. “We have a really unique opportunity in the Mon Valley. With U.S. Steel’s recent announcement of a $1 billion investment, it’s time to make this region a priority again.”
Planners expect construction could begin in 2021, with estimated completion in 2026.
Two maps outlining the plans are attached here
Representative Mike Puskaric
39th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)