HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Plans to construct the final phase of the Mon-Fayette Expressway are a step closer to becoming reality.
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission voted to move the project forward Monday. The final phase would run from Jefferson Hills north to Monroeville.
The Turnpike Commission put design work for the project on hold earlier this year, amid questions about how best to spend the $2.2 billion needed for the roadway. The Turnpike Commission later said the money can’t be used for other projects unless the Legislature passes a new law to allow it.
Eleven state lawmakers from southwestern Pennsylvania signed a letter earlier this month, urging the commission not to resume work.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto pushed the commission to table the project so the money could be allocated for other projects.
Fitzgerald says transportation has evolved since the expressway was first designed.
“We thought this thing was designed 50 years ago, transportation was much different than it is right now. With ride-share, data, the way transit is going, driverless cars, transportation is a much different operation than it was when [the expressway] was designed,” says Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald adds if they don’t use the money for the expressway it would be to the other side of the state for projects there.