|Maintained by WVDOH, PennDOT, & PTC|
|Length:||70 mi (112.7 km)|
|Existed:||1977 – present|
I-70 in Fallowfield Township, PA
PA 136 near New Eagle, PA
|North end:||PA 51 in Jefferson Hills, PA|
|Counties:||Monongalia (WV), Fayette, Washington, Allegheny (PA)|
The Mon–Fayette Expressway is an interstate tolled freeway that is planned to eventually link Interstate 68 near Morgantown, West Virginia with Interstate 376 near Pittsburgh. The ultimate goal of the highway is to provide a high speed north-south connection between Morgantown and the eastern side of Pittsburgh while revitalizing the economically distressed towns in Fayette and Washington counties, serving as an alternative to Interstate 79 to the west, as well as relieving the PA 51 alignment from Pittsburgh to Uniontown. In addition, a second branch in Allegheny County will provide a bypass to the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.
Although it is being built to Interstate Highway standards, most of the freeway is not expected to become part of the Interstate Highway System. As a result, the highway uses state highway designations instead, as it does not parallel an existing U.S. Route for its entire length, though it does parallel U.S. Route 40 and U.S. Route 119 for portions of its length. The route, in its three jurisdictions, uses the number 43 for familiarity-based reasons, and is thusly known as West Virginia Route 43, Pennsylvania Route 43, and PA Turnpike 43. Most of the route is maintained by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, while the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation maintains small portions of the highway near Uniontown, and the West Virginia Division of Highways maintains the short section in West Virginia. Despite the numerous agencies overseeing the highway, it is one continuous highway. South of Jefferson Hills, the Mon–Fayette Expressway is complete. Construction on the final 24-mile (39 km) stretch that will connect the highway's current northern terminus at Jefferson Hills to Pittsburgh and Monroeville is pending due to funding limitations.
The Mon–Fayette Expressway designation is derived from the Monongahela River and Fayette County because initially, the highway was proposed in the 1950s as a way to link the coke- and steel-producing towns situated in the Monongahela River Valley. The coke and steel industry waned in the 1970s and nearly collapsed in the early 1980s. Today, the Monongahela River Valley considers the expressway to be an important tool for economic redevelopment.
The construction history of the Mon–Fayette Expressway is complex. PennDOT initiated construction in 1973, and the first segment opened in 1977. This segment consisted of a partial cloverleaf interchange at U.S. Route 40 and a 2-mile (3.2 km) stretch of four-lane highway that spurred south of the new interchange toward Fredericktown. Despite severe financial constraints, PennDOT built the remainder of the ramps at the U.S. 40 cloverleaf along with a separate 2-mile (3.2 km) stretch of highway near California in the early 1980s. Once construction stalled, the project was transferred to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) under Act 61 legislation in 1985. While PennDOT assessed preliminary engineering and right-of-way options in the 1970s and early 1980s, the PTC accelerated design work and began unveiling detailed plans in earnest by the late 1980s. Funding appropriated through the PTC allowed construction to resume in 1988, and on October 12, 1990, the entire stretch from U.S. Route 40 to Interstate 70 opened to traffic. Initially, the PTC did not have adequate funding to construct new sections, but Representative Austin Murphy secured congressional funds that directed PennDOT to build a 4-mile (6.4 km) stretch of the expressway south of Uniontown. Aside from being part of a larger project, the new segment was designed to provide high speed access between the Uniontown bypass, Fairchance, and a new business park. This section, dubbed the Chadville Demonstration Project, opened in November 1992.
In the early 1990s, the Pennsylvania State Legislature passed a bill that hypothecated a portion of the state’s fuel excise revenue to the PTC. This new revenue stream initially provided the funding to complete an 8-mile (13 km) section from the southern terminus of the Chadville Demonstration Project to the West Virginia state line as well as a 17-mile (27 km) section from the Interstate 70 interchange to Pennsylvania Route 51 in Jefferson Hills. On March 1, 2000, most of the section between the Chadville Demonstration Project and the West Virginia state line opened to traffic. The entire segment from Interstate 70 to Route 51 was open by April 12, 2002, which included the Joe Montana Bridge, named after the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback who grew up in the immediate area in nearby Monongahela, Pennsylvania.
In 2006, construction began on a 17-mile (27 km) stretch that will connect the oldest section of the expressway near Fredericktown to the northern terminus of the Chadville Demonstration Project. This is known locally as the "Uniontown-to-Brownsville Project". Due to limited funding, construction on this section was split into two phases. The first phase involved construction of an 8-mile (13 km) section of expressway running parallel to a hazardous stretch of U.S. Route 40 between Brownsville and Uniontown. Phase 1 opened on October 23, 2008. The second phase consists of a 9-mile (14 km) section that will connect the first phase of this project to the oldest portion of the expressway near Fredericktown. Additionally, the second phase includes a directional T interchange at U.S. Route 119 in Uniontown. On December 13, 2010, the U.S. 119 interchange opened to traffic, and the remainder of phase 2 opened with a soft launch on July 16, 2012. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on August 2, 2012. Completion of Phase 2 brought an uninterrupted 58-mile (93 km) stretch of highway between I-68 and the current northern terminus at Pennsylvania Route 51 in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania.
In West Virginia, construction commenced in 2000 but progressed slowly due to limited funding. By the end of 2003, only the Rubles Run Bridge and two pieces of highway totaling little more than 2.5 miles (4.0 km) were completed. Over the next few years, construction inched ahead. By 2009, the Morgan Run Bridge was finished, and local roads near Cheat Lake were re-built to accommodate the expressway. The final contracts to build the Cheat Lake and Interstate 68 interchanges were respectively awarded in December 2008 and July 2009, partly as a result of an ARRA fund infusion. On July 11, 2011, officials in West Virginia opened their 4-mile (6.4 km) section of the Mon–Fayette Expressway. Likewise, the PTC opened the southernmost 1.7 miles (2.7 km) in Pennsylvania, which sat unused for over a decade. Noteworthy features on the West Virginia section include two high-level bridges, along with the I-68 interchange, which is a hybrid design that utilizes both high-speed ramps and at-grade intersections. A second phase for this interchange is planned, but that project will not be undertaken until traffic volumes merit. If the second phase is built, the I-68 interchange will be upgraded to a directional T.
The connection between Jefferson Hills and I-376 is in limbo. All environmental clearances have been obtained, and right-of-way acquisition has begun. However, construction is expected to cost at least $3.6 billion, and funding has not been identified. A public-private partnership was explored but nothing feasible resulted. It is unlikely that any new construction will commence in the near future unless a new tax is imposed or private funding identified, although funding was secured for the section of Pennsylvania Route 576 in between Interstate 79 and its current eastern terminus at U.S. Route 22, bringing hope on an eventual completion of the Mon–Fayette Expressway.
The Mon–Fayette Expressway is a toll road for much of its length. Unlike the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline and the Northeast Extension, which uses long-distance tickets, the Mon–Fayette Expressway collects fixed tolls at regular intervals. In addition, auxiliary toll plazas exist on certain on- and off-ramps. In 2008, the PTC retrofitted all toll plazas to accept E-ZPass, and Express E-ZPass lanes are available at the newer toll plazas.
The Mon–Fayette Expressway has four mainline toll barriers located in Fairchance, Redstone, California, and Jefferson Hills. As of 2013, the Fairchance and California barriers charge $1.40 using cash and $1.02 using E-ZPass for passenger vehicles while the Redstone and Jefferson Hills barriers charge $1.80 using cash and $1.36 using E-ZPass for passenger vehicles. There are also ramp toll plazas at the northbound exit and southbound entrances at exit 4, 15, and 18, the southbound exit and northbound entrance at exits 22 and 26, and the northbound exit and southbound entrance at exits 39, 44, and 48. The ramp tolls cost $1.00 using cash and $0.68 using E-ZPass for passenger vehicles.
In West Virginia, legislators have flip-flopped a few times regarding whether their section will be a toll road. When tolls were first proposed, West Virginia had planned to work with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to collect tolls at the existing Pennsylvania mainline plaza, but this plan was not accepted by the West Virginia Legislature. Instead, West Virginia planned to construct a toll plaza north of Goodwin Hill Road. West Virginia officials also contemplated whether to use all-electronic tolling or a more traditional tolling scheme. In the end, tolling plans were scrapped by West Virginia's legislature. Rejection resulted from concerns related to camera enforcement, billing, and operational costs. However, West Virginia reserves the right to levy tolls in the future if these issues are settled.
Exit list 
||Cheat Lake||0.0||0.0||—||I-68 – Cumberland, MD, Morgantown|
|0.7||1.1||1||To CR 857 (Fairchance Road) – Cheat Lake||Last exit northbound in West Virginia|
||4.2||6.8||West Virginia – Pennsylvania state line|
||Springhill Township||5.9||9.5||2||To US 119 (Gans Road) – Point Marion||First exit northbound in Pennsylvania; northern end of toll-free section|
|8.0||12.9||4||To PA 857 (Rubles Mill Road) – Haydentown, Smithfield||Toll plaza for motorists exiting northbound and entering southbound|
|Fairchance||9.9||15.9||Fairchance mainline toll plaza|
|12.2||19.6||8||To US 119 to PA 857 (Big Six Road) – Fairchance, Smithfield||Southern end of Uniontown toll-free section|
|15.9||25.6||US 119 south / Morgantown Road||Southern end of concurrency with US 119|
|16.3||26.2||US 40 east – Hopwood||Left exit southbound; eastern end of concurrency with US 40|
|Uniontown||17.1||27.5||Walnut Hill Road|
|18.5||29.8||PA 21 / McClellandtown Road|
|19.2||30.9||US 40||Western end of concurrency with US 40|
|20.1||32.3||US 119 north – Connellsville, New Stanton||Semi-directional T interchange; northern end of concurrency with US 119; northern end of Uniontown toll-free section|
|21.1||34.0||15||To US 40 to PA 51 / Northgate Highway||Toll plaza for northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|New Salem||24.7||39.8||18||To US 40 – New Salem, Waltersburg||Toll plaza for northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Redstone Township||27.9||44.9||Redstone mainline toll plaza|
|28.7||46.2||22||US 40 – Brownsville, Brier Hill||Toll plaza for northbound entrance and southbound exit|
|Luzerne Township||32.7||52.6||26||Telegraph Road - Republic, Brownsville||Toll plaza for northbound entrance and southbound exit|
||Centerville||34.7||55.8||28||PA 88||Southern end of concurrency with PA 88|
|36.7||59.1||30A||US 40 east / PA 88 north, Brownsville||Northern end of concurrency with PA 88|
|36.7||59.1||30B||US 40 west – Centerville|
PA 88 Truck – California (SR 2073, SR 2083)
|40.4||65.0||34||Elco (SR 2033)|
|41.5||66.8||California mainline toll plaza|
|Fallowfield Township||41.8||67.3||36||I-70 – New Stanton, Washington||Signed as exits 36A (east, New Stanton) and 36B (west, Washington)|
|45.1||72.6||39||Charleroi, Donora (SR 2025)||Toll plaza for northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Carroll Township||49.8||80.1||44||PA 136 – Eighty Four, Monongahela||Toll plaza for northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Union Township||54.3||87.4||48||Orange Belt – Finleyville, West Elizabeth (SR 1006)||Toll plaza for northbound exit and southbound entrance|
||Jefferson Hills||57.7||92.9||Jefferson Hills mainline toll plaza|
|59.4||95.6||54||PA 51 – Pittsburgh, Elizabeth (SR 2030)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; Current northern terminus. Toll plaza planned for motorists exiting southbound when interchange access is complete|
|-||Camp Hollow Road - McKeesport, Dravosburg||Toll plazas planned for motorists exiting northbound and southbound|
|-||PA 837 – West Mifflin, Duquesne||Toll plazas planned for motorists exiting northbound and southbound|
|-||Toll PA 576 – Turtle Creek, Monroeville||No ramp tolls|
|-||Sixth Street - Braddock||Toll plazas planned for motorists exiting northbound and southbound|
|-||Rankin Mainline Toll Plaza - Northbound motorists only|
|-||PA 885 – Hazelwood, Homestead||Toll plazas planned for motorists exiting southbound and entering northbound|
|-||Bates Street - Oakland||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|-||I-376 west – Pittsburgh||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only - Final northern terminus (planned)|
The roadway has generated controversy in Allegheny County. Critics often point to the low traffic volumes on the existing segments to help justify their dissent. Critics claim that such low volumes prove that the expressway is unfeasible. Supporters also consider the low traffic volume, but they claim that traffic volumes are low because of the segmented nature of the overall highway.
Related roads 
In the 1990s, the Mon–Fayette Expressway project was expanded to include another highway, the Southern Beltway. The Southern Beltway is planned to be a high-speed east-west link between the Mon–Fayette Expressway, Interstate 79, U.S. Route 22, Interstate 376, and Pittsburgh International Airport. A 6-mile (9.7 km) section of the beltway between Pittsburgh International Airport/Interstate 376 and U.S. Route 22 opened to traffic in 2006. The new road has been designated as Pennsylvania Route 576. A 13-mile (21 km) section between U.S. 22 and I-79 is expected to be open by 2020, with the third section—between I-79 and a currently-unbuilt section of the Mon–Fayette Expressway near Finleyville, Pennsylvania—dependent on the Mon–Fayette Expressway itself being eventually completed.
In order to provide access to certain interchanges within the Uniontown-to-Brownsville project, the PTC had to build several toll-free connectors, the most notable of which extended a four-lane section of U.S. Route 40 near Brownsville, eliminating a forty-year-old freeway stub in the process. Near Uniontown, the PTC constructed a four-lane road, named Northgate Highway, between U.S. Route 40 and Pennsylvania Route 51. In addition, a new connector was added to join Telegraph Road and Bull Run Road in Luzerne Township, potentially opening many acres of land to future development. The aforementioned access roads were necessary to provide access to exits 22, 15, and 26 respectively, but these routes were also designed to improve local connections and accommodate any future economic development in the interchanges' immediate vicinity.
See also 
- Kitsko, Jeffrey J. (March 14, 2010). "PA Turnpike 43: Mon-Fayette Expressway". PA Highways. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- "The Mingo Creek Viaduct (Joe Montana Bridges) Washington County, PA" (PDF). Modern Steel Construction (Chicago: American Institute of Steel Construction). November 2003. ISSN 0026-8445.
- "Mon-Fayette Expressway Moves Closer to Cheat". Dominion Post (Morgantown, WV). July 6, 2009. p. 4A. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
- Robbins, Richard (March 4, 2009). "Expressway Plan Hailed for W. Pa.". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Shaner, Cassie (January 11, 2010). "W.Va. Could Open Mon-Fayette this Year". Dominion Post. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
- "Express E-ZPass Lanes to Open June 8 on Mon-Fayette Expressway" (Press release). Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. June 4, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- 2013 Toll Schedule. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Beard, David (June 24, 2010). "Expressway to Open in Spring 2011". Dominion Post (Morgantown, WV). Retrieved June 24, 2010.
- "Traffic May Move in November on Road". Dominion Post (Morgantown, WV). p. 1B. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
- Staff (June 13, 2011). "New Toll Roads Less Likely". MetroNews (Charleston, WV). Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- Grata, Joe (April 13, 2002). "Mon-Fay Expressway now 13 Miles Longer". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Vellucci, Justin (December 8, 2008). "Expressway to a Battleground". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- "PA Route 60 to U.S. Route 22—Welcome". Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. September 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Pennsylvania Highways – PA Turnpike 43
- Interstate 79 to Mon/Fayette Expressway Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
- PDF (May 10, 2006)
- Mon/Fayette Expressway, Uniontown to Brownsville Project