PA 48
North-South Parkway


Out of all of the proposed expressways that were cancelled, this one perhaps lasted the longest.  In 1984, Champion Map Corporation had this expressway shown on its map of Pittsburgh and even as late as 1986, Rand McNally indicated this highway as "proposed" paralleling the PA 48 alignment.

Click on map for a more detailed plan.

In the early-1960s, things seemed to be progressing on the expressway at a break-neck pace.  A public hearing was held on May 24, 1963 to discuss construction and impacts to the community.  The PA 51 to US 30 segment had reached the preliminary design phase and would proceed into the final design with approval from the Bureau of Public Roads.  North of US 30 was at the same status as the southern section, and both had a date of construction as "indefinite."  How correct that would become when the Department of Transportation axes the expressway in the 1970s.

The $43 million expressway would have started at PA 51 just north of the intersection with PA 48, traversed Elizabeth Township paralleling PA 48, crossed the Youghiogheny River northeast of Boston to once again join up with the PA 48 alignment to follow it all the way to Monroeville.  In Monroeville, it would have joined the Parkway East and the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the Pittsburgh Interchange.  Interchanges would have been constructed at the following locations:

Construction would have begun on the section from White Oak to PA 130 in Spring 1968.  The five mile, $7.1 million segment would have opened to traffic in 1969.

Proposed alignment of the New 48 as shown in 1986.  (Rand McNally)
Proposed alignment through Versailles.  (Champion Map)
Proposed alignment through McKeesport for the New 48 as well as the Pittsburgh-McKeesport Expressway.  (McKeesport Planning Commission)
Proposed alignment through Monroeville.  (Champion Map)

There are still physical remnants that this expressway, which was called the "New 48," was to be built.  Several houses along Center Street in White Oak were acquired by the Commonwealth and demolished; however, the stairs to them still exist.  Across from the Peoples Gas complex, on PA 48 where Center Street intersects, a small farm and house once stood which was also purchased by the state.  The right-of-way would have run though there and along the base of the hills.  Continuing on PA 48, the expressway would have cut though what is now Oak Park Mall, where a cloverleaf interchange with Lincoln Way would have been constructed.  The Transportation Commission, an expansion of the old State Highway Commission and in charge of maintaining a six-year highway building, plan chose this path because it would save $6.5 million in construction costs.

Before the "New 48" proposal was inked, an amusement park that my mother used to go to as a child, Rainbow Gardens, stood at that location.  The shopping center was built after the state sold off the right-of-way.  Nearly every time we would drive past she'd say, "That used to be my amusement park. They tore down my park to build a road!"  Even if she did not know it, mom was a young NIMBYer.  I felt a sense of sadness when she would say that, because it ended up being destroyed for nothing.

When she was working in the trust department at one of the banks in McKeesport back in the late-1960s, she dealt with the estate of Allen Eli Evans.  He owned the land which Rainbow Gardens sat upon, and which the bank had to sell to the state for the purpose of the North-South Parkway.

Links:
PA 48
PA Turnpike 43
Pittsburgh-McKeesport Expressway (Cancelled)
Route 30 Relocation (Cancelled)
PA 48 - Adam Prince
History of the "New 48" - Adam Prince


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Page updated March 02, 2009.
Content and graphics, unless otherwise noted, copyright Jeffrey J. Kitsko. All rights reserved.
Information courtesy of the Pittsburgh Area Transportation Plan, Pittsburgh Press, Rand McNally, Champion Map Corporation, Patricia Kitsko, Adam Prince, and Matt Boyko.