Late last year the Construction Legislative Council issued a report reviewing a number of key transportation projects essential for the economic future of our region. On this list was the completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway link from Route 51 to Monroeville, with extension of the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway to the expressway.
The report was developed by a committee of the region’s leading transportation engineers, planners and professionals with expertise in development and design of public infrastructure.
It was disappointing that the Post-Gazette took a negative position on the expressway project in its Feb. 2 editorial “False Promise: The New Mon-Fayette Segment Is a Road to Nowhere.”
Our region has shown its resilience through evolution and adoption of new industries such as health care, education, technology, robotics, financial services, film and most recently oil and natural gas. However, southwestern Pennsylvania is crippled by severe congestion that significantly limits our economic competitiveness.
In the case of the Mon Valley, a lack of modern highway access has significantly limited the redevelopment opportunities of brownfield industrial sites. Linking these sites to regional and interstate markets is essential to increase jobs in the Mon Valley.
In addition, transit access into Oakland and other parts of Pittsburgh from the extension of the busway to the expressway would both improve access of Mon Valley residents to job opportunities throughout the region and spur redevelopment of Mon Valley communities.
We hope that businesses and residents of the Mon Valley will take the opportunity to participate in meetings and hearings on the restart of the expressway project and offer their thoughts on the benefits of this valuable transportation improvement.
Construction Legislative Committee