Road Bed as Test Bed
Pitt, Pa. Turnpike team up to make Mon-Fayette Expressway a test bed for innovative construction
Above: A section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Southern Beltway project on June 17, 2022, just before it fully opened to the public. The turnpike's next local project, the Mon-Fayette Expressway between Jefferson Hills and West Mifflin, will include some experimental features, including road surfaces that can charge electric vehicles using the roadway and sound barriers that also absorb air pollution. (Vanessa Abbitt/Post-Gazette)
When construction begins next year on the Mon-Fayette Expressway between Jefferson Hills and Duquesne, the new roadway will provide more than a new travel connection for residents of the Monongahela Valley.
The new toll road also will serve as a test bed for innovative transportation construction techniques that could use noise reduction walls to reduce pollution and produce electricity from traffic-generated road vibrations for road signs, among other things.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike, which is building the toll road first discussed in the 1960s, approved a $2.7 million agreement last week with the University of Pittsburgh for a series of pilot projects during highway construction. Turnpike engineers have been working for the past 18 months with the Impactful Resilient Infrastructure Science and Engineering consortium based at the Swanson School on Engineering to select the projects.