Interstate 70 in Pennsylvania

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This article is about the section of Interstate 70 in Pennsylvania. For the entire length of the highway, see Interstate 70.

Interstate 70 marker

Interstate 70
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT and PTC
Length: 167.92 mi[1] (270.24 km)
Major junctions
West end: I‑70 at the West Virginia state line
  I-79 in Washington
Toll PA 43 in Fallowfield Township
PA 51 in Rostraver Township
I-76 / Penna. Tpk. / US 119 / Toll PA 66 in New Stanton
I-99 / US 220 in Bedford
I-76 / Penna. Tpk. / US 30 in Breezewood
US 522 near Warfordsburg
East end: I‑70 / US 522 at the Maryland state line
Highway system
PA 69 PA 70
PA 125 PA-126.svg PA 127

In the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, Interstate 70 (I-70) runs east–west across the southwest part of the state serving the southern fringe of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. About half of the route is concurrent with Interstate 76 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This is the oldest segment of I-70 in Pennsylvania, having been completed in 1940, and is only one of two segments of I-70 that are tolled, with the other being the Kansas Turnpike. I-70 is one of only a few Interstate Highways to have a traffic signal—in this case, with U.S. Route 30 (US 30) in Breezewood, where it leaves the Turnpike and heads toward Maryland.[2]

Route description[edit]

A grandfathered section of Interstate 70 that is not up to modern Interstate standards near Dunningsville, Pennsylvania. Note the lack of a shoulder between the passing lane and the median barrier.

Two segments of I-70 in Pennsylvania are not designed to modern Interstate standards: a 37-mile segment from Washington to New Stanton, and the aforementioned half-mile signalized segment in Brezewood.

For 37 miles between the eastern end of its concurrency with I-79 in Washington and the western end of its concurrency with the Pennsylvania Turnpike in New Stanton, I-70 has several dated design features. The median narrows to the point that there are no shoulders between the median barrier and the passing lanes on both sides. On- and off-ramps at many of the interchanges are substandard in both length and geometry, which requires vehicles to decelerate in the travel lanes before entering the off-ramps, and also necessitates the use of stop signs on the on-ramps instead of yield signs. Several overpasses do not meet minimum clearance requirements, which has resulted in damage to, and from, overheight trucks. Total reconstruction efforts are ongoing that will upgrade most of this segment of I-70 and its interchanges to modern Interstate standards, and various projects are scheduled through the early 2020s.

I-70 crosses the Monongahela River on the Speers-Belle Vernon Bridge and the Youghiogheny River on the Smithton High Level Bridge. In New Stanton, I-70 exits the main highway alignment to merge with the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76). The main alignment itself continues as U.S. 119 with an exit for PA 66.

For 86 miles from New Stanton to Breezewood, I-70 shares a concurrency with I-76 along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I-70 passes through a wind farm in Somerset County, and close to the 9/11 Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville. It then intersects I-99 in Bedford County before reaching the eastern end of its concurrency with the Turnpike in Breezewood.

In Breezewood, I-70 exits the Pennsylvania Turnpike and begins a half-mile wrong-way concurrency with U.S. 30. This is the other segment of the highway in Pennsylvania that is not designed to Interstate standards since it lacks grade separation and access control. I-70 then takes a north/south alignment between Breezewood and the Maryland state line, with the eastern terminus of I-68 less than a mile past the state line near Hancock. U.S. 522 also forms a four-mile concurrency with I-70 between Warfordsburg (Pa.) and Hancock (Md.).

History[edit]

By 1947, present Interstate 70 across Pennsylvania was included in the planned Interstate Highway System. The route from West Virginia split at Washington, with one branch heading northeast to meet the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Pittsburgh and the other heading east, bypassing Pittsburgh to the south (via a planned bypass of Pennsylvania Route 71) to the New Stanton interchange. The piece south from the Breezewood interchange into Maryland was also in the network.[3] The route between US 30 in Breezewood and US 522 in Warfordsburg was originally known as Pennsylvania Route 126. In 1957, preliminary numbers were assigned; the longer route via Pittsburgh (now Interstate 79 and Interstate 376) became the main line of I-70, while the southern bypass (now I-70) became Interstate 70S.[4] A southern extension of Interstate 79 (which had previously only run from Erie south to Pittsburgh) to Charleston, West Virginia in 1963 resulted in changes to I-70. On February 26, 1964, as part of the formation of Interstate 76 (east of downtown Pittsburgh), AASHTO approved a rerouting of I-70 along I-70S. The former I-70 became I-79 from Washington to downtown Pittsburgh and I-76 to and along the Turnpike to New Stanton.[5] This brought the routing of I-70 to its present form.

Future[edit]

In 2011, PennDOT began preliminary work for a total reconstruction of I-70 between the West Virginia state line and New Stanton. Approximately $500 million will be spent on this 58-mile segment of highway in order to improve it to modern Interstate standards, half of which will be spent redesigning eight interchanges. Other planned improvements include six overpass replacements, a new roadbed, a wider median, electronic ITS signage, and widening the I-70/I-79 concurrency in Washington to six lanes.[6]

Two noteworthy interchange projects will occur in conjunction with the I-70/I-79 widening. Underway is a reconfiguration of the east/south split between I-70 and I-79, which will eliminate the notorious one-lane, low-speed loop ramp from I-79 northbound to I-70 westbound, replacing it with a two-lane, high-speed flyover ramp.[6] Preliminary design work has also been completed for a redesigned interchange between I-70/I-79 and Murtland Avenue (U.S. 19), and involves replacing the existing substandard cloverleaf in favor of the first diverging diamond interchange in Pennsylvania.[7]

Exit list[edit]

Interstate 70 (on top) merges with Interstate 79 going through Washington, Pennsylvania
Interstate 70 through Buffalo Township in Washington County, Pennsylvania
County Location Mile km Old exit New exit Name Destinations Notes
Washington Donegal Township I‑70 west West Virginia state line
1 1 West Alexander
2 6 To PA 231 – Claysville
Buffalo Township 3 11 PA 221 – Taylorstown
North Franklin Township 4 15 US 40 (Chestnut Street)
Canton Township 5 16 (Jessop Place)
Washington 6 17 PA 18 (Jefferson Avenue)
South Strabane Township 18 I-79 north – Pittsburgh West end of I-79 overlap
7 19 US 19 (Murtland Avenue) Signed as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north)
8 20 PA 136 (Beau Street)
21 I-79 south – Morgantown East end of I-79 overlap; also signed for Waynesburg
Somerset Township 9 25 PA 519 – Eighty Four, Glyde
10 27 Dunningsville
11 31 Kammerer
12 32A PA 917 – Ginger Hill
Bentleyville 13 32B To PA 917 south – Bentleyville
Fallowfield Township 14 35 PA 481 – Monongahela, Centerville
15 36 Lover Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
16 37 Toll PA 43 – California, Pittsburgh Signed as exits 37A (south) and 37B (north); also signed for Brownsville
Speers 17 39 Speers
18 40 PA 88 – Charleroi, Allenport
Monongahela River Belle Vernon Bridge
Westmoreland Rostraver Township 19 41 PA 906 – Belle Vernon, Monessen
North Belle Vernon 20 42A North Belle Vernon
Rostraver Township 21 42B Monessen Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
22 43 PA 201 to PA 837 – Donora, Fayette City Signed as exits 43A (south) and 43B (north) westbound
23 44 Arnold City
24 46 PA 51 – Uniontown, Pittsburgh Signed as exits 46A (south) and 46B (north)
South Huntingdon Township 25 49 Smithton
26 51 PA 31 – Mt. Pleasant, West Newton Signed as exits 51A (east) and 51B (west)
27 53 Yukon
Sewickley Township 28 54 Madison
New Stanton 29 57A Hunker Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
30 57B New Stanton Signed as exit 57 eastbound
To US 119 / Toll PA 66 north – Greensburg, Connellsville, Delmont I-70 exits itself to toll plaza eastbound
West end of toll road
I-76 west / Penna. Tpk. west – Pittsburgh West end of I-76 / Penna. Tpk. overlap; I-70 exits turnpike via exit 75 westbound
Donegal 9 91 Donegal PA 31 / PA 711 – Ligonier, Uniontown
Somerset Stonycreek Township Allegheny Mountain Tunnel
Somerset 10 110 Somerset US 219 – Somerset, Johnstown
Bedford Bedford 11 146 Bedford I-99 / US 220 – Bedford, Altoona
East Providence Township I-76 east / Penna. Tpk. east – Harrisburg East end of I-76 / Penna. Tpk. overlap; I-70 exits turnpike via exit 161 eastbound
East end of toll road
East end of non-freeway section
US 30 east – Breezewood, McConnellsburg East end of US 30 overlap
US 30 west – Everett West end of US 30 overlap
West end of non-freeway section
Fulton   29 149 South Breezewood No westbound entrance
Brush Creek Township 30 151 PA 915 – Crystal Spring
31 156 PA 643 – Town Hill
Union Township 32 163 PA 731 south – Amaranth
Bethel Township 33 168 US 522 north – Warfordsburg West end of US 522 overlap
I‑70 east / US 522 south Maryland state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ Route Log - Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 1
  2. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (November 22, 2001). "The Town That Stops Traffic: Travelers Encounter Way Station as Way of Life in Breezewood". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ National System of Interstate Highways, August 2, 1947
  4. ^ Official Route Numbering for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, August 14, 1957
  5. ^ Ask the Rambler, Was I-76 Numbered to Honor Philadelphia for Independence Day, 1776?
  6. ^ a b "I-70 Projects". I-70 Projects. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  7. ^ "PennDOT District 12-0 - Media Release". Dot.state.pa.us. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 


Interstate 70
Previous state:
West Virginia
Pennsylvania Next state:
Maryland