Murrysville officials show interest in proposal for Penn Township ramp to Turnpike
If the Turnpike Commission wants to build a cashless toll ramp in Penn Township , Murrysville officials appear to be in favor of it.
Although they did not take an official vote at the June 6 meeting, consensus among Murrysville council members seemed to be in support of adding an interchange to the Turnpike that could bring travelers closer to their municipality.
Chief Administrator Jim Morrison said Penn Township officials have been lobbying PennDOT for about a decade to build a “slip ramp” in the area of Pleasant Valley Road's intersection with Route 130, located about 200 feet from the existing Turnpike and south of Murrysville along Pleasant Valley Road.
Cashless toll ramps do not require drivers to stop. They charge E-Z Pass receivers or photograph a driver's license plate and mail a bill.
“It's more beneficial now than in the past for the municipality to have an additional access to Pittsburgh,” Morrison said.
Council members seemed to agree.
“I don't see any negatives to it for Murrysville,” Councilman Carl Stepanovich said. “I think it would be a good idea.”
Councilwoman Jamie Lee-Korns agreed.
“I think we have a lot of folks who don't want to be backed up on PV Road a lot of the time, and I think providing this access would be great,” she said.
One potential stumbling block could be the price tag.
A 2017 study estimated that the ramp itself could cost nearly $30 million. It would bring an additional 8,000 drivers onto Pleasant Valley Road each day, which the study concluded would require widening the road.
That could ramp up the price to more than $67 million.
The project would require coordination between the Turnpike Commission, PennDOT — because it owns and maintains Route 130 — and Penn Township, where the ramp would be built.
Murrysville council will take a vote on whether to officially endorse the proposal at its next meeting, set for 7 p.m. June 20 at the municipal building, 4100 Sardis Road.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.