Interstate 70 in Pennsylvania

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This article is about the section of Interstate 70 in Pennsylvania. For the entire route, 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 Turnpike / US 119 / Toll PA 66 in New Stanton
I-99 / 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 69 PA 70
PA 125 PA 126 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]

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]

County Location[12] mi[13] km Old exit
[14]
New exit
[14]
Destinations Notes
Washington Donegal Township 0.000 0.000 I‑70 west – Wheeling Continuation from West Virginia
0.776 1.249 1 1 West Alexander
5.648 9.090 2 6 To PA 231 – Claysville
Buffalo Township 10.964 17.645 3 11 PA 221 – Taylorstown
North FranklinCanton
township line
14.940 24.044 4 15 US 40 (Chestnut Street)
Canton Township 16.027 25.793 5 16 Jessop Place
Washington 16.451 26.475 6 17 PA 18 (Jefferson Avenue)
South Strabane Township 17.546 28.238 18 I-79 north – Pittsburgh West end of I-79 overlap
18.597 29.929 7 19 US 19 (Murtland Avenue) Signed as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north)
18.945 30.489 8 20 PA 136 (Beau Street)
21.083 33.930 21 I-79 south – Morgantown East end of I-79 overlap; also signed for Waynesburg
Somerset Township 24.643 39.659 9 25 PA 519 – Eighty Four, Glyde
27.503 44.262 10 27 Dunningsville
30.592 49.233 11 31 Kammerer
Somerset TownshipBentleyville line 32.421 52.177 12A 32A PA 917 – Ginger Hill
BentleyvilleFallowfield Township line 32.780 52.754 12B 32B To PA 917 south – Bentleyville
Fallowfield Township 35.201 56.651 13 35 PA 481 – Monongahela, Centerville
36.396 58.574 14 36 Lover Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
37.555–
37.571
60.439–
60.465
15 37 Toll PA 43 – California, Pittsburgh Signed as exits 37A (south) and 37B (north); also signed for Brownsville
TwilightSpeers line 39.877 64.176 16 39 Speers
Speers 40.248 64.773 17 40 PA 88 – Charleroi, Allenport
Monongahela River 40.697 65.495 Belle Vernon Bridge
Westmoreland Rostraver Township 40.776 65.623 18 41 PA 906 – Belle Vernon, Monessen
North Belle Vernon 41.528 66.833 19 42 North Belle Vernon
Rostraver Township 42.083 67.726 19A 42A Monessen Westbound exit only
42.742 68.787 20 43 PA 201 to PA 837 – Donora, Fayette City Signed as exits 43A (south) and 43B (north) westbound
44.216 71.159 21 44 Arnold City
46.478 74.799 22 46 PA 51 – Uniontown, Pittsburgh Signed as exits 46A (south) and 46B (north)
South Huntingdon Township 48.957 78.789 23 49 Smithton
51.257 82.490 24 51 PA 31 – Mt. Pleasant, West Newton Signed as exits 51A (east) and 51B (west)
53.203 85.622 25 53 Yukon
Sewickley Township 53.923 86.781 25A 54 Madison
New Stanton 56.978 91.697 26A 57A Hunker Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
57.068 91.842 26B 57B New Stanton Signed as exit 57 eastbound
57.564 92.640 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 Turnpike west – Pittsburgh West end of I-76 / Penna. Tpk. overlap; I-70 exits turnpike via exit 75 westbound (New Stanton Interchange)
Donegal 9 91 PA 31 / PA 711 – Ligonier, Uniontown Donegal Interchange
Somerset Somerset 10 110 US 219 – Somerset, Johnstown Somerset Interchange
StonycreekAllegheny township line Allegheny Mountain Tunnel
Bedford Bedford Township 11 146 I-99 / US 220 – Bedford, Altoona, Johnstown Bedford Interchange /
I-99/US 220 exit 1
East Providence Township I-76 east / Penna Turnpike east – Harrisburg East end of I-76 / Penna. Tpk. overlap; I-70 exits turnpike via exit 161 eastbound (Breezewood Interchange)
East end of toll road
146.706 236.100 West end of non-freeway section
US 30 east – McConnellsburg, Chambersburg, Gettysburg East end of US 30 overlap
147.000 236.574 US 30 west – Breezewood, Everett West end of US 30 overlap
East end of non-freeway section
148.465 238.931 29 149 South Breezewood No westbound entrance
Fulton Brush Creek Township 150.948 242.927 30 151 PA 915 – Crystal Spring
155.510 250.269 31 156 PA 643 – Town Hill
Union Township 163.007 262.334 32 163 PA 731 south – Amaranth
Bethel Township 167.724 269.926 33 168 US 522 north – Warfordsburg West end of US 522 overlap
170.281 274.041 I-70 east / US 522 south – Hancock Continuation into Maryland
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Route map: Bing / 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