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Turnpike moving ahead with Mon-Fayette Expressway leg

| Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, 5:54 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Wednesday it will move forward to build a much-delayed 14-mile extension of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.

The commission re-engaged seven firms who were working on the $1.75 billion project, along with three new contractors.

The toll road will connect Route 51 in Jefferson Hills to Interstate 376 in Monroeville. Plans stalled in 2009 because of a lack of money but were revived with the state's transportation funding bill passed in late 2013.

β€œFor the first time, a viable financial plan has been developed that funds this project through completion, without the need for additional funding sources,” said Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan.

Construction would start in 2021.

The next steps include finishing an environmental impact statement within 12 to 18 months, and sending out about 1,000 letters to property owners to notify them that contractors may need access to their properties to gather topographical information.

Turnpike officials plans to host a public meeting on the project during the summer.

Ten contractors have been retained for a total of $103 million, based on project estimates from 2003.

The original design firms β€” AECOM, Amman & Whitney, CDI Corp., The EADS Group Inc., McCormick Taylor Inc., Modjeski & Masters Inc. and Pennoni Associates Inc. β€” had been retained when the project stopped.

New additions include McCormick Taylor Inc. for environmental work and CDM Smith Inc. to handle traffic and revenue analysis. HDR Inc. will become the design manager and coordinate engineering work.

The turnpike began the expressway project in 1985. Design for the Route 51 to I-376 piece began in 2004.

Melissa Daniels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8511 or mdaniels@tribweb.com.

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