This expressway has the unique distinction of being the last free expressway to be built in the Pittsburgh area. Construction began on the highway in 1990, which would serve the new Midfield Terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport which was being built simultaneously. PennDOT faced several challenges while building the new expressway such as subsurface mine fires, inactive landfill areas, hilly terrain, and wetland areas. Not only did natural barriers stand in the way of construction, but also the White Swan Amusement Park. The amusement park which sat in the area of Exit 3 was purchased and demolished to make way for the connection to the Airport Parkway.
The 7.5 mile, $190 million dollar expressway opened in September 1992. One interesting feature of it is the median which was planned with future expansion in mind, whether it be light rail, Maglev, West Busway, or extra lanes.
There had been an expressway devised in the 1963 Pittsburgh transportation plan that would have served the same area. In the plan it was referred to as the Airport Terminal Freeway.
A ground breaking ceremony took place on November 12, 2003 for the Southern Beltway. Local officials as well as Governor Ed Rendell were on hand to kick off construction of the $224 million project on a knoll overlooking Pittsburgh International Airport. Dick Corporation of Large built the $64.9 million western end, which includes ramps to and from PA 60 and the airport. The Clinton interchange on the Southern Expressway was upgraded from a partial to a full interchange with construction of ramps from southbound and to northbound PA 60. Those ramps opened on July 21, 2006.
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 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.
Southern Expressway Pictures
Airport Terminal Expressway
Future Interstate 376 Corridor Map
Mutlimodal Airport Corridor Project - Port Authority of Allegheny County
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
|Business PA 60 in Robinson.|
|Business PA 60 in Moon.|
|PA 60 (1992 - 2009)|
PA 60 to Pittsburgh International Airport (Northbound)
Pittsburgh International Airport to Business PA 60 (Southbound)