PA Turnpike 576 is the designation for the planned Southern Beltway, a semi-circular loop for the metropolitan area of Pittsburgh. The Findley Connector, angling southwest from I-376 and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to U.S. 22, represents the western segment of the 89 mile long limited access highway system. PA Turnpike 576 extends six miles and uses all electronic toll collection.
Developed by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), the Southern Beltway consists of three project areas. The passage of Act 89 in 2013 provided funding for the next stages of the Southern Beltway.
- I-376 to U.S. 22
- U.S. 22 to I-79
- I-79 to Mon/Fayette Expressway (PA Turnpike 43)
The middle section of the Southern Beltway stretches 13 miles east from U.S. 22 and the Findley Connector to Interstate 79 near the Allegheny/Washington County line. A Record of Decision for this segment was issued in September 2008. Estimated to cost $800 million, work is divided into nine sections for the project. A limited opening of the middle section was scheduled for Fall 2021, with connections at I-79 completed in 2022. This section ultimately opened in October 2021 with ongoing improvements continuing into 2022.
Constructed between February 2014 and August 2015, Section 55A1-1 built a pair of 4-span steel multi-girder bridges across both U.S. 22 and Steubenville Pike. Section 55A1 constructs four miles of roadway extending east from U.S. 22 and the Findley Connector to Beech Holly Road. Work started on December 15, 2016 and was completed in June 2019. Section 55A2, underway from December 2018 to mid 2021, added the next 2.7 mile stretch east to McDonald. It included a connector road and interchange (Exit 11) joining the Southern Beltway with PA 980 (Robinson Highway).
Section 55B, approximately 3.2 miles in length, included the construction of a 1,370 foot long span over PA 980. Work on this project started February 16, 2017 and concluded in December 2019. Section 55C1-1, underway from November 2017 to June 2020, extended two miles from Section 55B and included a diamond interchange (Exit 15) with Cecil Sturgeon Road.
Sections 55C1-2 and 55C2-2, started on April 5, 2018 and October 3, 2018 respectively, realigns Morgan Road and Hickory Grade Road along a two mile section of PA Turnpike 576. Preceding construction of the future interchange with Interstate 79 (Section 55C2-1), these projects were completed in June 2020 and July 2020. With an anticipated completion in mid 2022, work on the exchange with I-79 commenced on February 4, 2019.