WV drivers will soon have faster access to Pittsburgh Airport with the Southern Beltway opening on I-79

PITTSBURGH – West Virginia people traveling to the Pittsburgh area on Interstate 79 have been faced with road construction for many years. All this construction will soon lead to a faster and more direct route to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

It’s all part of a project called the South ring road which will link I-79, in the Southpointe and Morganza Road areas, to US Route 22, near the airport.

The 13-mile project connects to an existing six-mile section to form PA Turnpike 576. It will be a toll road, with three toll locations, all using electronic toll technology, according to toll officials. Aerial scanners and cameras will charge drivers through the E-ZPass System or the state’s plate toll program, officials said.

The project was divided into nine sections, with construction starting in 2014 on one section. While much of the road will be open to traffic, within the next week or two some construction will continue until 2022, according to the PA Turnpike website.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is holding a special community day for anyone wishing to walk or cycle on a five-mile section of the newly constructed bypass, before it opens to traffic. The event will take place on Saturday October 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

It is also planned to possibly connect the ring road to the Mon-Fayette motorway to the east. This route would run from Morganza Road at I-79 to a new interchange on the freeway, south of Finleyville. The highway, known as PA Turnpike 43, currently takes drivers in West Virginia from the Cheat Lake area east of Morgantown to the southeastern suburb of Pittsburgh. This project is still in the design phase, is awaiting funding and has no defined timetable.

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