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GOV. CASEY OPENS NEW EXPRESSWAY TO GREATER PITTSBURGH AIRPORT

GOV. CASEY OPENS NEW EXPRESSWAY TO GREATER PITTSBURGH AIRPORT
 PITTSBURGH, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Robert P. Casey today opened a new 7.5-mile expressway to serve the expanding Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, where an $800 million new terminal is to become operational in three weeks.
 "We're opening a new gateway to the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport so that it can continue to grow and meet this region's need for world class air service well into the 21st century," Casey said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
 "We are proud to deliver on our commitment to have this highway built in time for the opening of the new airport terminal."
 The governor, who participated in a ground breaking ceremony to start the project on Aug. 27, 1990, noted that the $210 million, four-lane expressway was completed three weeks ahead of schedule.
 Formerly called the Southern Expressway, it now will be named the Airport Expressway.
 Thomas J. Foerster, chairman of the Allegheny County commissioners, and State Transportation Secretary Howard Yerusalim headed a contingent of public officials who joined the governor at the ceremony.
 Calling the new highway "an alternate route to the markets of the nation and the world," Casey thanked the Allegheny County commissioners for ensuring Greater Pitt will remain among the best airports in the nation with a new terminal to be in operation by Oct. 1.
 Casey noted that more than $1.2 billion in transportation improvements will be completed this year in the State Route 60 corridor, including the new southern highway connector, the terminal, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike's $250 million completion of the Beaver Valley Expressway to the north.
 "We are rebuilding our infrastructure today to provide thousands of construction jobs while we build a safer, brighter future for western Pennsylvania," Casey said. "We know that transportation is a vital element for economic growth, not only in this region but in all of Pennsylvania. This expressway is proof of our commitment to progress."
 Allegheny County's investment in the new terminal will provide twice the space of the existing terminal and allow the airport to handle 37 million passengers by the year 2000. The Commonwealth contributed about $90 million to assist in the construction of the terminal.
 PennDOT and its contractors built the new four-lane expressway around the western perimeter of the airport in just two years.
 The new Airport Expressway extends from the existing Parkway West at Montour Run south of the airport and past the new terminal interchange before linking back into the existing Beaver Valley Expressway on the north near Flaugherty Run Road in Moon Township.
 The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has been building the final 16.5 miles of the four-lane Beaver Valley Expressway, which is also Route 60 to the north of the airport, from State Route 51 west of Beaver Falls to U.S. Route 422 near New Castle.
 In addition to its four travel lanes, the new highway has enough right-of-way for future expansion. It will serve nearby communities with five interchanges.
 -0- 9/9/92
 /CONTACT: Jim McCarron, 717-783-8800, or John L. Taylor, 717-783-1116, both of Commonwealth News Bureau/ CO: Office of the Governor ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


CD -- PG007 -- 7476 09/09/92 11:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 9, 1992
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