On October 15th, the Southern Beltway a 19-mile-long stretch connecting Interstate 79 at the Washington-Allegheny County line to the Pittsburgh International Airport is set to open. Turnpike officials said the Southern Beltway cost around $900 million to build and took several decades to plan and about 8 years of road work to complete. Steve Hrvoich, a member of the Turnpike Commission said, “It will be a huge time saving to be able to come this way. We think it will be about a 15-minute ride rather than a half-hour drive on normal conditions and possibly 45 minutes during rush hour.” On the 19-mile stretch, there will be three toll points, and each point will cost $1.30 with an E-ZPass or $2.60 by plate.
The opening of the Southern Beltway will bring many new business opportunities to develop along the route, especially with the Pittsburgh International Airport recently announcing an investment of $1.39 billion into a new terminal and parking facilities to be completed by 2025. Last Saturday, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened the Southern Beltway to cyclists and walkers to be the first to see the new road. The four hour event brought out bicyclers, unicyclists, runners, walkers, rollerblader and more to see the road for the first time in this once in a lifetime opportunity.