Interstate 70 in Pennsylvania

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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 / US 40 / US 19 / PA 18 in Washington
Toll PA 43 in Fallowfield Township
PA 51 in Rostraver Township

I-76 / Penna Turnpike / US 119 / Toll PA 66 / PA 66 Bus. in New Stanton
US 219 near Somerset
I-99 / US 30 / US 220 in Bedford
I-76 / Penna Turnpike / US 30 in Breezewood
US 522 near Warfordsburg
East end I-70 / US 522 at the Maryland state line
Location
Counties Washington, Westmoreland, Somerset, Bedford, Fulton
Highway system
PA 69PA 70
PA 125PA 126PA 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]

Interstate 70 (on top) merges with Interstate 79 going through Washington, Pennsylvania, shown in 2008 before reconstruction and flyover construction

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 Breezewood.

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.

Interstate 70 through Buffalo Township in Washington County, Pennsylvania

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 a very short spur with no route number, then picks up U.S. 119 at an interchange with 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]

PA Route 126
Location WarfordsburgBreezewood
Existed 1928–1964

PA Route 71 Alternate
Location WashingtonNew Stanton
Existed 1957–1963

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] The section of present-day I-70 between PA 519 near Washington and New Stanton was built as a four-lane divided highway known as the "Express Highway"; this road was assigned the temporary PA 71 Alternate designation in 1957 and would be designated as I-70S following the completion of additional connecting roads in the Interstate Highway System.[5][6] On July 15, 1960, I-70 was designated onto the Penn-Lincoln Parkway.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

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 one-lane, low-speed loop ramp from I-79 northbound to I-70 westbound, replacing it with a two-lane, high-speed flyover ramp.[10] 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.[11]

Exit list[edit]

CountyLocation[12]mi[13]kmOld exit
[14]
New exit
[14]
DestinationsNotes
WashingtonDonegal Township0.0000.000 I‑70 west – WheelingContinuation into West Virginia
0.7761.24911West Alexander
5.6489.09026 To PA 231 – Claysville
Buffalo Township10.96417.645311 PA 221 – Taylorstown
North FranklinCanton
township line
14.94024.044415 US 40 (Chestnut Street)
Canton Township16.02725.793516Jessop Place
Washington16.45126.475617 PA 18 (Jefferson Avenue)
South Strabane Township17.54628.23818 I-79 north – PittsburghWestern end of I-79 overlap; exit 38 southbound
18.59729.929719 US 19 (Murtland Avenue)Diverging diamond interchange
18.94530.489820 PA 136 (Beau Street)
21.08333.93021 I-79 south – MorgantownEastern end of I-79 overlap; exit 34 northbound; also signed for Waynesburg
Somerset Township24.64339.659925 PA 519 – Eighty Four, Glyde
27.50344.2621027Dunningsville
30.59249.2331131Kammerer
Somerset TownshipBentleyville line32.42152.17712A32A PA 917 – Ginger HillNo eastbound entrance
BentleyvilleFallowfield Township line32.78052.75412B32B To PA 917 south – Bentleyville
Fallowfield Township35.20156.6511335 PA 481 – Monongahela, Centerville
36.39658.5741436LoverWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
37.555–
37.571
60.439–
60.465
1537 Toll PA 43 – California, PittsburghSigned as exits 37A (south) and 37B (north); also signed for Brownsville
TwilightSpeers line39.87764.1761639Speers
Speers40.24864.7731740 PA 88 – Charleroi, Allenport
Monongahela River40.69765.495Belle Vernon Bridge
WestmorelandRostraver Township40.77665.6231841 PA 906 – Belle Vernon, Monessen
North Belle Vernon41.52866.8331942North Belle Vernon
Rostraver Township42.08367.72619A42AMonessenWestbound exit only
42.74268.7872043 PA 201 to PA 837 – Donora, Fayette CitySigned as exits 43A (south) and 43B (north) westbound
44.21671.1592144Arnold City
46.47874.7992246 PA 51 – Uniontown, PittsburghSigned as exits 46A (south) and 46B (north)
South Huntingdon Township48.95778.7892349Smithton
51.25782.4902451 PA 31 – Mt. Pleasant, West NewtonSigned as exits 51A (east) and 51B (west)
53.20385.6222553Yukon
Sewickley Township53.92386.78125A54Madison
New Stanton56.97891.69726A & 26B57New StantonRebuilt interchange combining former exits 57B (Hunker) and 57A (New Stanton)
57.56492.640 To US 119 / Toll PA 66 north – Greensburg, Connellsville, DelmontI-70 exits itself to toll plaza eastbound
Western end of toll road
I-76 west / Penna Turnpike west – PittsburghWestern end of I-76/Penna. Tpk. overlap; I-70 exits turnpike via exit 75 westbound; New Stanton Interchange
Donegal991 PA 31 / PA 711 – Ligonier, UniontownDonegal Interchange
Somerset10110 US 219 – Somerset, JohnstownSomerset Interchange
StonycreekAllegheny
township line
Allegheny Mountain Tunnel
BedfordBedford Township11146 I-99 / US 220 – Bedford, Altoona, JohnstownI-99/US 220 exit 1; Bedford Interchange
East Providence Township I-76 east / Penna Turnpike east – HarrisburgEastern end of I-76/Penna. Tpk. overlap; I-70 exits turnpike via exit 161 eastbound; Breezewood Interchange
East end of toll road
146.706236.100Western end of non-freeway section
US 30 east – McConnellsburg, Chambersburg, GettysburgEastern end of US 30 overlap
147.000236.574 US 30 west – Breezewood, EverettWestern end of US 30 overlap
Eastern end of non-freeway section
148.465238.93129149South BreezewoodNo westbound entrance
FultonBrush Creek Township150.948242.92730151 PA 915 – Crystal Spring
155.510250.26931156 PA 643 – Town Hill
Union Township163.007262.33432163 PA 731 south – Amaranth
Bethel Township167.724269.92633168 US 522 north – WarfordsburgWestern end of US 522 overlap
170.281274.041 I-70 east / US 522 south – HancockContinuation into Maryland
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ "Route Log - Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 1". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  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. ^ "'Express Highway' Designated As Alternate Route 71 By PDH". The Daily Republican. Monongahela, PA. March 11, 1959. p. 1. Retrieved August 19, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Gets Temporary Route Designation". The Daily Courier. Connellsville, PA. March 12, 1959. p. 15. Retrieved August 19, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "Designations Of Highways Are Changed". The Evening Standard. Uniontown, PA. July 16, 1960. p. 7. Retrieved August 28, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ Ask the Rambler, Was I-76 Numbered to Honor Philadelphia for Independence Day, 1776?
  9. ^ "I-70 Projects". I-70 Projects. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  10. ^ (PDF) http://www.i-70projects.com/docs/projectinfo_website.pdf. Retrieved 2013-01-29.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "PennDOT District 12-0 - Media Release". Dot.state.pa.us. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  12. ^ "Video Log". Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 29, 2016. 
  13. ^ Bureau of Maintenance and Operations (January 2016). Roadway Management System Straight Line Diagrams (Report) (2015 ed.). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 29, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Pennsylvania Exit Numbering" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 2, 2007. 


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