ROADS/BRIDGES: Work begins on Southern Beltway project in Pittsburgh

Jan. 30, 2017

Work will begin this week on the 4-mile section of the Southern Beltway near Pittsburgh International Airport.

After decades of talk and planning and design, major construction will begin this week on the 4-mile section of the Southern Beltway between Quicksilver Road and Route 22 near Pittsburgh International Airport.

Crews from Independence Excavating of Cleveland and its subcontractors have been clearing trees and brush for the past few weeks. Quicksilver Road in Robinson Township, Washington County, will be closed for three months beginning Wednesday.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission last month awarded a $90.85 million contract to build this section of the toll road. This is the first construction in the second phase of the Southern Beltway, which will cover 13 miles from Route 22 to Interstate 79 and cost about $700 million.

In addition to the work on Quicksilver Road, crews are preparing to begin moving about 5 million cubic yards of dirt to level hills and fill in valleys for road construction. Workers are assembling huge excavators in a staging area that will be used to fill two sizes of vehicles, one that can carry 65 tons of material and another that holds 90 tons.

Excavators will begin work on the far ends of the project at Quicksilver Road and Route 22 and work toward the middle. When the site is ready, Independence’s team will build the new roadway.

At the same time, the turnpike commission will issue at least a half-dozen more contracts to build the rest of the 13-mile mile stretch. None of it will open until it is all finished, scheduled by the end of 2019.

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