Groundbreaking planned for Southern Beltway project

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Groundbreaking will be held Monday on the newest section of the Southern Beltway through Washington County.


State official are planning a ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Monday on the current section of the beltway, also known as Turnpike 576, near the exit to Route 22. The westbound lanes of I-576 near the final exit will be closed during the groundbreaking.


Gov. Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman William Lieberman and various other lawmakers and officials will be on hand for the event. The ceremony will mark the start of a $14 million project that includes construction of dual bridges that will carry traffic over Route 22.


Turnpike officials expect that construction of the $550 million road from Interstate 79 near Southpointe to Route 22 in Robinson will help to reduce travel time for motorists to Pittsburgh International Airport and relieve congestion on the Parkway West.


That 13-mile section of the Southern Beltway has been in limbo for years while state officials struggled to find revenue sources to fund the project.


The Turnpike Commission has already invested about $50 million to purchase and demolish 100 properties and is actively pursuing dozens of other partial acquisitions needed to construct the toll road.


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