Dubbed the Southern Beltway, the Interstate 576 designation is applied to a planned semi-circular beltway for the metropolitan area of Pittsburgh. The route will begin at Pennsylvania 60 (future Interstate 376) west of the city at the main entrance to the Pittsburgh International Airport, turn west and then south and then southeast to meet the proposed Pennsylvania 43/Mon-Fayette Expressway (High Priority Corridor 31).
From there Interstate 576 will follow the Mon-Fayette Expressway north to meet Interstate 376 (Parkway East) at two interchanges: one in Monroeville/Penn Hills and one in the City of Pittsburgh near Second Avenue and Bates Street in Hazelwood. Interstate 576 would thus end at Interstate 376 at the eastern end as well as the western end. (assuming that Interstate 376 is extended northwest via Interstate 279 and U.S. 22-30 from downtown Pittsburgh to Pennsylvania 60 and Pittsburgh International Airport). If that is the case, Interstate 576 might better be designated as Interstate 876 (with an even-numbered prefix).
High Priority Corridor
Future Interstate 576 is part of High Priority Corridor 31: Mon-Fayette Expressway and Southern Beltway for its entire length.
On November 12, 2003, construction commenced on the first leg of the tolled Southern Beltway. Dubbed the Findlay Connector, this limited access highway connects Parkway West (U.S. 22) with Pennsylvania 60 opposite the Pittsburgh International Airport terminal. The tollway features interchanges at U.S. 22, Bald Knob Road, U.S. 30, and Pennsylvania 60 with direct access to the airport. The six-mile section cost $220 million and opened October 11, 2006. State officials are optimistic about the project and the potential for development in a 5,000-acre area that bounds the route.1
Additionally, two other sections of the beltway are now in the study stages. These portions involve the stretch of highway from U.S. 22/William Penn Highway southeast along the Allegheny-Washington County line to Interstate 79 and the section of roadway east from Interstate 79 to Pennsylvania 43/Mon-Fayette Expressway.1 For more on the progress of the Southern Beltway and Interstate 576, visit Pennsylvania Turnpike: Southern Beltway and Mon-Fayette Expressway.
The Mon-Fayette Expressway section between the northern terminus of Pennsylvania 43 (at Pennsylvania 51) and Interstate 376 is currently under final environmental review. A preferred alternative has been selected (the North Shore Alternative) from Pennsylvania 51 in Jefferson Hills north to Interstate 376 in Monroeville/Penn Hills. A spur would take traffic from Interstate 576 north and west along the north shore of the Monongahela River to Hazelwood and Interstate 376 in Pittsburgh. For more on this leg of the proposed route, visit Mon-Fayette Expressway from Pennsylvania 51 to Interstate 376.