Skip to main content

Pennsylvania wants to move US 119 onto Mon-Fayette Expressway

With West Virginia nearing completion of their portion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway, PennDot is looking to moving US 119 onto it, once the Mon-Fayette is completed, to Interstate 68.  According to the minutes of the August 20, 2009 meeting of the Morgantown Metropolitan Planning Organization, PennDot "...wishes to [ask] AASHTO to resign that section of the Mon-Fayette Expressway as U.S. 119. Pennsylvania wishes to immediately place U.S. 119 signage on the interstate and overlap from Exit 1 on I-68, across Cheat Lake."

Under the Pennsylvania proposal, US 119 would no longer leave the freeway at Morgantown Road (un-numbered exit; mile 12), but it would now continue on the toll road south into West Virginia and then west on Interstate 68 until Exit 1. 

However, West Virginia prefers that US 119 leave I-68 at Exit 7 and continue to run through downtown Morgantown.


Above: A scan from a 2009 PennDot State Map showing the under construction Mon-Fayette Expwy (in Green) US 119 and Interstate 68.  Both the PA/WV plan would move US 119 to the east along the Mon-Fayette Expressway all the way to Interstate 68.  Pennsylvania's plan has US 119 leaving I-68 and heading south at Exit 1.  West Virginia's has US 119 leaving I-68 at Exit 7 and along its present alignment through Morgantown.

Of course all of this is up to AASHTO's approval, and US highways have generally not been allowed to be signed on toll roads.

Thanks to Brian Powell for some additional details.

Comments

Anonymous said…
This is a good idea. Route 119 is very windy and dangerous between Smithfield and Morgantown. This new designation would further encourage traffic to bypass this segment.

As for the specific routing, I like the PA proposal better. WV should go with that proposal, but they should try to sign the downtown Morgantown stretch as Business 119. That would likely help cut the congestion.
Anonymous said…
Wonder if the Uniontown bypass will be signed as Route 43? I'm talking about the section between the Route 51 interchange where the new ramps are tying in and the Chadville interchange.

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …