Today marks the opening of another section of the Mon/Fayette Expressway that completes the 18-mile stretch between Uniontown and Brownsville. The 4-year long project makes 60 miles of continuous highway from I-68 in Morgantown, WV to Route 51 in Jefferson Hills.
Tom Fox, Public Information Manager for the Western Region Office of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, said this portion of the highway extends from U.S. Route 119 in Uniontown to Route 88 in Washington County.
"It certainly effects a lot of people in West Virginia and Uniontown who work in West Virginia, as well as travelers who can take an alternate route going to I-68," Fox said.
Construction for the Brownsville to Uniontown section has been underway since October 2008, and cost about $882 million dollars, which Fox said is under budget.
The work included a $96 million bridge stretching 3,022 feet across the Monongahela River between Washington and Fayette Counties. Fox added that drivers will experience the most dramatic effect when traveling from Route 51 to West Virginia.
"It's certainly a great scenic ride," Fox said. "It's a new and quite pleasing ride."
However, the final section of the highway between Route 51 in Jefferson Hills and I-376 near Pittsburgh has been halted.
"We no longer have any funding to continue the work on the remaining sections on both the Mon/Fayette and the southern beltway," Fox said, "but the commission is determined to try to continue to seek funding."
Fox said it is uncertain what funding sources could be ahead, but suggested that the oil franchise tax could funnel some money into transportation.