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Pennsylvania Turnpike Officials Choose Site of New Pa. Highway 130 Interchange

Wed August 30, 2023 - Northeast Edition #19
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(Pennsylvania Turnpike map)
(Pennsylvania Turnpike map)

Construction crews will install a new turnpike interchange near the intersection of Nike Site Road, Sandy Hill Road, Pleasant Valley Road and Pennsylvania Highway 130 in Penn Township, the state's Turnpike Commission (PTC) announced Aug. 28.

The Westmoreland County road project will be located between the Irwin and Pittsburgh interchanges, and accessible for westbound and eastbound drivers.

The project was officially announced almost two years ago in October 2021.

The preliminary design phase, which started earlier this summer, will take two years to complete, Penn Township Secretary/Manager Mary Perez told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The project will then go into final design, slated to take about four years, she said, before construction officially gets under way.

PTC officials told the township in a mid-August meeting that the project will take about nine years to complete, according to Ward 4 Commissioner Chuck Miller said.

The turnpike commission already has purchased some land in the interchange area to use for project staging, he told the Pittsburgh news source, but it plans to resell it once the project is complete.

"They have no interest in being property owners," Miller said.

Although the Pennsylvania Turnpike/Pa. 130 interchange will make it easier for residents to access the turnpike, Miller has some concerns about impacts to Pa. 130's traffic infrastructure — most notably with an ambulance station on nearby Sandy Hill Road.

"My primary concern is our ambulance base," he explained. "Not that the businesses and homes don't mean anything, but you have to have an ambulance base centrally located to be able to respond."

He added, though, that it has not been determined if the station will be adversely affected.

The PTC also plans to move the shed on Nike Site Road to the other side of Pa. 130, Miller told the Tribune-Review.

Public Opinions About Interchange Are Split

Marjie Previc is "just worried about finding some place to move to."

She owns Marjie's Flowers, a flower shop in Crossroads Plaza next to where the interchange's proposed location is to be constructed along Pa. 130.

"It's going to be a year or so before anything comes to fruition," Previc said, "so I'll worry about it when the time comes."

Because the interchange will have "open road tolling," according to PTC Spokesperson Crispin Havener, it will take up less space than the "typical, old-style toll booth system." He added it will not "extend very far outside of that block where the interchange will be."

Miller said residents' opinions on the interchange are split.

"[Community members] are either 100 percent for it or 100 percent against it," he told the Pittsburgh newspaper. "It doesn't seem like people are too comfortable with being middle of the road [about it]."

The PTC said in a statement, that the new interchange will "provide improved access to neighboring counties and employment centers from the turnpike and encourage economic development in Westmoreland County."

The commission plans to host a public presentation on the road project. Information on the meeting and the project's progress will be announced on the project website at https://www.paturnpike.com/traveling/construction/site/sr130-interchange.

Perez hopes there will be consistent communication from PTC to dispel any rumors about the construction effort.

"I'm glad to have this project site set up and we can link to it," she said, "because I'm hoping people will go to that — if they keep it updated — and it will stop a lot of the misinformation that's out there on [social media]."




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