As part of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway project in the 1950s, this expressway helped Pittsburgh east-west travel and provide a connection between the airport and downtown. Construction began in 1951 and in 1954 the section from US 22/US 30 to Exit 2 at Montour Run Road opened to traffic. The rest of the highway was upgraded to a four-lane, divided highway. The new expressway replaced Cliff Mine and Coraopolis Heights Road and Beaver Grade Road as the main route to the old Greater Pittsburgh International Airport.
The expressway saw reconstruction during the late 1970s and early 1980s as part of PennDOT's plan to rebuild the Penn-Lincoln Parkway from the airport to Monroeville. Between 1979 and 1980, the former White Swan Park Interchange was completely rebuilt at a cost of $2 million. The interchange was later removed in 1992. In 1981, the expressway was rebuilt from the White Swan Park Interchange to the US 22/US 30 interchange. The final cost of the construction was $5.8 million for the 2.4 mile section.
The expressway-standards were extended on the parkway in 1991 when the Thorn Run Interchange was completed in August 1991. The interchange helped to alleviate one of Greater Pittsburgh's biggest bottlenecks. It allowed traffic from the lower part of Moon Township traveling east to downtown to get onto the Parkway without having to travel west toward the former airport and having to make a U-turn. Westbound traffic from the Air Force base that had to travel seven miles to the east to turn around at the Montour Run Interchange now had direct access. Funding came from an unusual place for the interchange: the private sector. The Moon Transportation Authority devised a tax diversion plan to gain the funds to help finance the construction.
The newly opened Thorn Run Interchange in 1991. (Heidi Howe)
The next change to take place on the expressway happened in 1992. It was in that year that the Southern Expressway opened to traffic as a route to the newly opened Midfield Terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport. With the new expressway came a new interchange, or rather, a new configuration of an existing interchange. The White Swan Park Interchange became the connection between the Airport Parkway and the Southern Expressway. The amusement park by the same name was purchased by the Commonwealth and demolished to make way for the connection. With the new highway, the PA 60 designation was moved onto it and the Airport Parkway was designated Business PA 60.
In 1998, the section from the Southern Expressway to the Thorn Run Road Interchange was repaved and improved.
On October 17, 2005, US Senator Rick Santorum and US Representative Melissa Hart made an announcement at Pittsburgh International Airport that has been years in coming. By January 1, 2009, the Interstate 376 designation will be extended and signed on this expressway, replacing the PA 60 designation which will likely be truncated at the US 22/US 30 interchange. Improvements to the associated expressways such as the cloverleaf at Steubenville Pike and the designation change were included in the "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users" highway reauthorization bill passed two months earlier. Cost for the extension is estimated at $80 million to bring the expressways to Interstate Standards, but doesn't have to be completed for 25 years and certainly not by the target date of New Year's Day 2009.
In the 1963 Pittsburgh Area Transportation Plan, provisions were made to extend the Airport Parkway north of the present PA 60 alignment to Beaver Grade Road and onto Interstate 79. At that point, it would have turned to head towards McKees Rocks, and onto the North Side to an interchange with the proposed Oakland Crosstown Freeway near McKnight Road in the vicinity of the present I-279 interchange. This is the reason that the Exit 60 of I-79 is not a complete interchange, because PA 60 was not meant to still be on the former US 22/US 30 alignment. Interchanges would have been built at the following locations:
An extension was also planned to continue past the former Greater Pittsburgh International Airport Terminal to connect to the Beaver Valley Expressway. Both plans were killed in the 1970s, however as mentioned above, PennDOT did upgrade Business PA 60 to expressway standards to Thorn Run Road.
Airport Parkway Pictures
Exit Guide (PA 60)
Exit Guide (Business PA 60)
Business PA 60
Future Interstate 376 Corridor Map
Mutlimodal Airport Corridor Project - Port Authority of Allegheny County
Business PA 60 Interchange Browser - Tim Reichard
Business PA 60 Junction List - Tim Reichard
PA 60 Interchange Browser - Tim Reichard
PA 60 Junction List - Tim Reichard
PA 60 Pictures - Andy Field/Alex Nitzman
Terminus of PA 60 - Adam Prince
Terminus of Business PA 60 - Adam Prince
US 22/US 30 in Robinson.
University Boulevard in Moon.
99th Infantry Division Memorial Highway: PA 60 to University Boulevard
SR 0060: US 22/US 30 to the
SR 3160: Southern Expressway to University Boulevard
22/US 30 to Business PA 60 (Northbound)
Business PA 60 to US 22/US 30 (Southbound)
Robinson Town Centre
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Back to Pittsburgh Expressway System
Page updated January 29, 2010.
Content and graphics, unless otherwise noted, copyright © Jeffrey J. Kitsko. All rights reserved.
Information sign courtesy of Richard C. Moeur.
Pittsburgh Belt System shield courtesy of Bruce Cridlebaugh.
Traffic.com logo courtesy of Traffic.com, Inc.
Information courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Pittsburgh International Airport: A Commemorative Book by Executive Report.