PA To Spend $62 Billion On Roadwork Repair And Restoration

Aug 13, 2016

Bridge inspectors check the structural integrity of the Rachel Carson bridge in downtown Pittsburgh in 2013. The inspection is part of the five-year project to rehabilitate the three sister bridges spanning the Allegheny River.
Credit Gene J. Puskar / AP

Construction crews across the state will complete almost $62 billion worth of roadwork from now through 2028.

The State Transportation Commission outlined its strategy to repair and improve southwestern Pennsylvania's network of roadways Thursday in its newly-updated 12-year plan.

The most ambitious of upcoming regional construction projects is likely the $491 million overhaul of I-70 in Washington and Westmoreland counties. Crews have already started to widen the roadway and improve ramps between the city of Washington in the west and New Stanton to the east.

But other regional highways are set to receive massive investments as well.

The new plan carves out $250 million dollars for improvements along Route 28, including work on the roadway’s interchanges with East Ohio Street and the Highland Park Bridge in Pittsburgh, plus two bridge replacements in Armstrong County.

Route 19 would see $125 million in general maintenance and improvements spread evenly along its course, from Washington and Greene counties in the south through Allegheny and Beaver counties farther north.

Route 22 and Route 30 will each get about $100 million in improvements, while the Cranberry interchange of I-79 is due for a $31 million project to reduce traffic congestion.

"This update reflects the progress we are making, chipping away at our large backlog of pavement and bridge needs while adding some capacity expansion to address long-standing desires for better mobility," Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards said in a statement.

The new transportation plan also outlines 189 bridge projects for Allegheny County alone, including the “Three Sisters" bridges over the Allegheny River.

Repairing and restoring the trio will cost about $72 million. Work starts Monday on the Andy Warhol Bridge. Rachel Carson and Roberto Clemente will each be overhauled in two-year intervals.

On the Monongahela, the 10th Street Bridge is slated for $20 million in upgrades. On the Ohio, the West End Bridge will get a $24 million restoration.

Elsewhere in Allegheny County, the Tarentum Bridge, the McKees Rocks Bridge and the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge are all due for major repairs. Commuters should expect full replacements of 43 older bridges, including Dooker's Hollow Bridge linking North Braddock to East Pittsburgh and the Kenmawr Bridge connecting Rankin and Swissvale.

Officials also set aside state Act 89 funding for public transit agencies, rail projects and other transportation initiatives.