Pennsylvania Highways
Allegheny County Belt System

The system was originally developed by Joseph White, an engineer with the Allegheny County Department of Public Works, in the late 1940's using a network of federal, state and municipal highways that would offer drivers alternate routes which did not lead into the congested Golden Triangle.

The Belt System was not intended as high speed or limited access roads, but instead their purpose was to define a road system away from the major arteries and the congestion that they suffered.  The colors of the system are ordered like the colors in a rainbow with the outermost red, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  If you cross one color, you have an idea of how close you are to downtown and whether you are heading towards or away from the central business district.  

Interstate and Parkway construction from the late 1950s though the early 1970s reduced the use and need of the Belt System.  However, as urban sprawl took a hold of Pittsburgh, the system helped to reduce the effects of suburban congestion.  Many of the roads selected more than fifty years ago still play a key role in the transportation plans for Allegheny County, the ones chosen for the belts have gone from country lanes to urban collectors to urban arterials.


Purple Belt Terminus 1: Complete circle
Terminus 2:
Length: 2.03 miles
Route
(clockwise):
Fort Duquesne Boulevard:  Stanwix Street to 11th Street
11th Street:  Fort Duquesne Boulevard to Liberty Avenue
Liberty Avenue:  11th Street to Grant Street
Grant Street:  Liberty Avenue to the Boulevard of the Allies
Smithfield Street:  Boulevard of the Allies to Fourth Street (counter-clockwise)
Fourth Street:  Smithfield Street to Grant Street (counter-clockwise)
Boulevard of the Allies:  Grant Street to Stanwix Street
Stanwix Street:  Boulevard of the Allies to Fort Duquesne Boulevard
History: Signed in 1995 when the Pittsburgh Wayfinder System was introduced.  This route is also referred to as the Cultural Loop, because it passes through the central business district of Pittsburgh and is the only one under the jurisdiction of the City of Pittsburgh Department of Engineering and Construction.
Expressway: None
Links: City of Pittsburgh Department of Engineering and Construction
Pittsburgh Wayfinder System - Bruce Cridlebaugh

Blue Belt

Terminus 1: Complete circle
Terminus 2:
Length: 38.10 miles
Route
(clockwise):
McKees Rocks Bridge:  PA 51 to Brighton Heights Boulevard
Brighton Heights Boulevard:  McKees Rocks Bridge to California Avenue
California Avenue: 
Brighton Heights Boulevard to Benton Avenue
Benton Avenue:  California Avenue to Bascom Avenue
Bascom Avenue:  Benton Avenue to US 19
US 19:  Bascom Avenue to Ivory Avenue
Ivory Avenue:  US 19 to Evergreen and Peoples Plank Road
Evergreen and Peoples Plank Road:  Ivory Avenue to Babcock Boulevard
Babcock Boulevard:  Evergreen and Peoples Plank Road to Evergreen Road
Evergreen Road:  Babcock Boulevard to Evergreen Avenue
Evergreen Avenue:  Evergreen Road to PA 28
Ohio Street:  Evergreen Avenue to PA 28 (counter-clockwise)
PA 28:  Evergreen Avenue to the Highland Park Bridge
Highland Park Bridge:  PA 28 to PA 8
PA 8:  Highland Park Bridge to Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue:  PA 8 to Shady Avenue
Shady Avenue:  Fifth Avenue to Forward Avenue
Forward Avenue:  Shady Avenue to Beechwood Boulevard
Beechwood Boulevard:  Forward Avenue to Browns Hill Road
Monitor Street:  Beechwood Boulevard to Shady Avenue
Shady Avenue:  Monitor Street to Forward Avenue
Browns Hill Road:  Beechwood Boulevard to the Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge
Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge:  Browns Hill Road to PA 837
PA 837:  Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge to Becks Run Road
Becks Run Road:  PA 837 to Biscayne Drive
Biscayne Drive:  Becks Run Road to Maytide Street
Maytide Street:  Biscayne Drive to PA 51
PA 51:  Maytide Street to PA 88
PA 88:  PA 51 to McNeilly Avenue
McNeilly Avenue:  PA 88 to Pioneer Avenue
Pioneer Avenue:  McNeilly Avenue to Truck US 19
Truck US 19:  Pioneer Avenue to Potomac Avenue
Potomac Avenue:  Truck US 19 to PA 121
PA 121:  Potomac Avenue to PA 50
PA 50:  PA 121 to Baldwick Road
Baldwick Road:  PA 50 to Crafton Boulevard
Crafton Boulevard:  Baldwick Road to Noble Avenue
Noble Avenue:  Crafton Boulevard to PA 60
PA 60:  Noble Avenue to Steuben Street
Steuben Street:  PA 60 to Union Avenue
Cross Street:  Union Avenue to Noble Avenue (counter-clockwise)
Union Avenue:  Steuben Street to Center Street
Noble Avenue:  Cross Street to PA 60 (counter-clockwise)
Center Street:  Union Avenue to Prospect Avenue
Prospect Avenue:  Center Street to Windgap Avenue
Windgap Avenue:  Prospect Avenue to Chartiers Avenue
Chartiers Avenue:  Windgap Avenue to PA 51
PA 51:  Chartiers Avenue to the McKees Rocks Bridge
Expressway: Exit 3 to Exit 6 of PA 28
History:

The Belt took its current form between Truck US 19 and US 19 in Dormont in 1966.  Prior to that year, it followed Potomac Avenue, Dwight Avenue, and US 19 back to the intersection with Potomac.

In 1973, the designation was moved from Kleber Street, Brighton Road, and Jacks Run Road to its current alignment between Benton Avenue and Bascom Street.  It was moved from Frankstown Road and Dallas Avenue onto Fifth Avenue and Beechwood Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and Beechwood Boulevard.

There were many changes to the route in 1974.  It was moved from Seavey Road, Parker Street, Butler Street, Bridge Street, and PA 8 between Evergreen Road and the Highland Park Bridge to its current alignment.  The designation was moved from Beechwood Boulevard onto the current alignment from Fifth Avenue to Browns Hill Road.  Signage was removed from PA 885, Glass Run Road, Churchview Avenue, Brownsville Road, and Maytide Street and placed on its current alignment between the Glenwood Bridge and Maytide Street.  In McKees Rocks, it was moved from Singer Avenue, Valley Street, Broadway, Seventh Street, and McCoy Road to the current alignment between Chartiers Avenue and PA 51.

Links: Allegheny Valley Expressway
Highland Park Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
McKees Rocks Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh

Green Belt Terminus 1: PA 65 in Emsworth
Terminus 2: PA 148/Yellow Belt in McKeesport
Length: 38.60 miles
Route
(clockwise):
Camp Horne Road:  PA 65 to Lowries Run Road
Lowries Run Road:  Camp Horne Road to Rochester Road
Rochester Road:  Lowries Run Road to Sewickley-Oakmont Road
Sewickley-Oakmont Road:  Rochester Road to US 19
US 19:  Sewickley-Oakmont Road to Three Degree Road
Three Degree Road:  US 19 to Babcock Boulevard
Babcock Boulevard:  US 19 to Peebles Road
Peebles Road:  Babcock Boulevard to Duncan Avenue
Duncan Avenue:  Peebles Road to PA 8
PA 8:  Duncan Avenue to Harts Run Road
Harts Run Road:  PA 8 to Dorseyville Road
Dorseyville Road:  Harts Run Road to Fox Chapel Road
Fox Chapel Road:  Dorseyville Road to PA 28
PA 28:  Fox Chapel Road to Highland Park Bridge
Highland Park Bridge:  PA 28 to PA 8
PA 8:  Highland Park Bridge to PA 130
PA 130:  PA 8 to Verona Road
Verona Road:  PA 130 to Robinson Boulevard
Robinson Boulevard:  Verona Road to Montier Street
Montier Street:  Robinson Boulevard to PA 8
PA 8:  Montier Street to Swissvale Avenue
Swissvale Avenue:  Park Avenue to Edgewood Avenue
Edgewood Avenue:  Swissvale Avenue to Braddock Avenue
Braddock Avenue:  Edgewood Avenue to Ridge Avenue
Ridge Avenue:  Braddock Avenue to the Rankin Bridge
Rankin Bridge:  Braddock Avenue to PA 837
PA 837:  Rankin Bridge to the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge
McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge:  PA 837 to PA 148
Expressway: Exit 6 to Exit 8 of PA 28
History: Originally the Green Belt was signed on Allegheny River Boulevard, Hulton Bridge, Freeport Road, and Powers Run Road between PA 130 and Fox Chapel Road until 1974.  Also that year, the terminus was moved from the northern approach of the Rankin Bridge to its current location at PA 148.  In the late 1990s, the Belt was moved from Park Avenue and Swissvale Avenue in Wilkinsburg to follow Montier Street to PA 8.
Links: Allegheny Valley Expressway
Highland Park Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Rankin Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Terminus of the Green Belt - Adam Prince

Yellow Belt Terminus 1: Complete circle
Terminus 2:
Length: 77.60 miles
Route
(clockwise):
I-79:  Grand Avenue to Mount Nebo Road
Mount Nebo Road:  I-79 to Arndt Road
Arndt Road:  Mount Nebo Road to Reis Run Road
Reis Run Road:  Arndt Road to Ingomar Heights Road
Ingomar Heights Road:  Reis Run Road to Ingomar Road
Wildwood Road:  Ingomar Road to Wildwood Road Extension
Wildwood Road Extension:  Wildwood Road to Middle Road
Middle Road:  Wildwood Road Extension to Cedar Ridge Road
Cedar Ridge Road:  Middle Road to PA 910
PA 910:  Cedar Ridge Road to Freeport Road
Freeport Road:  PA 910 to the Hulton Bridge
Hulton Bridge:  Freeport Road to Hulton Road
Hulton Road:  Hulton Bridge to PA 380
PA 380:  Hulton Road to PA 791
PA 791:  PA 380 to Business US 22
Business US 22:  PA 791 to Rodi Road
Rodi Road:  Business US 22 to Thompson Run Road
Thompson Run Road:  Rodi Road to Larimar Avenue
Larimar Avenue:  Thompson Run Road to Thompson Street
Thompson Street:  Larimar Avenue to PA 130
PA 130:  Thompson Street to Patton Street
Patton Street:  PA 130 to the Wilmerding Bridge
Wilmerding Bridge:  Patton Street to Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue:  Wilmerding Bridge to PA 148
PA 148:  Fifth Avenue to Truck PA 148
Truck PA 148:  PA 148 to West Fifth Avenue
West Fifth Avenue:  Truck PA 148 to the W. D. Mansfield Bridge
W. D. Mansfield Bridge:  West Fifth Avenue to Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard
Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard:  W. D. Mansfield Bridge to Lebanon Church Road
Lebanon Church Road:  Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard to PA 885
PA 885:  Lebanon Church Road to Lebanon Church Road
Lebanon Church Road:  PA 885 to Curry Hollow Road
Curry Hollow Road:  Lebanon Church Road to Brownsville Road
Brownsville Road:  Curry Hollow Road to Broughton Road
Broughton Road:  Brownsville Road to PA 88
PA 88:  Broughton Road to Connor Road
Connor Road:  PA 88 to US 19
US 19:  Connor Road to PA 121
PA 121:  US 19 to Greentree Road
Greentree Road:  PA 121 to Hope Hollow Road
Hope Hollow Road:  Greentree Road to PA 50
PA 50:  Hope Hollow Road to East Main Street
East Main Street:  PA 50 to Broadway Street
Broadway Street:  East Main Street to Mansfield Boulevard
Mansfield Boulevard:  Sanbury Avenue to Highland Avenue
Highland Avenue:  Mansfield Boulevard to Chartiers Street
Chartiers Street:  Highland Avenue to Campbells Run Road
Campbells Run Road:  Chartiers Street to PA 60
PA 60:  Campbells Run Road to Beaver Grade Road
Beaver Grade Road:  PA 60 to Silver Lane
Silver Lane:  Beaver Grade Road to Forest Grove Road
Forest Grove Road:  Silver Lane to PA 51
PA 51:  Forest Grove Road to Neville Island Bridge/Ferree Street
Neville Island Bridge/Ferree Street:  PA 51 to Grand Avenue
Grand Avenue:  Neville Island Bridge to I-79
Expressway: Exit 64 to Exit 68 of I-79
History: Originally it was signed on McMichael Road and Church Hill Road between Campbells Run Road and PA 60 in Robinson.  In 1973, the Belt was moved to its current route between those two points.

In 2002, it became the first belt to be signed on an Interstate when it was moved from PA 51, Sewickley Bridge, PA 65, Kilbuck Street, and Glenfield Road to PA 51, Ferree Street, Neville Island Bridge, Grand Avenue, and I-79 between PA 51 and Mount Nebo Road.  In 2008, the route was moved from Sanbury Avenue and Mansfield Boulevard in Carnegie to the current route.

Links: Interstate 79
Hulton Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Sewickley Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
W. D. Mansfield Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh

Orange Belt Terminus 1: PA 88 in Library
Terminus 2: PA 51 in Elizabeth
Length: 91.70 miles
Route
(clockwise):
Clifton Road:  PA 88 to McMurray Road
McMurray Road:  Clifton Road to McLaughlin Run Road
McLaughlin Run Road:  McMurray Road to Coolidge Street
Coolidge Street:  McLaughlin Run Road to Grandview Avenue
Grandview Avenue:  Coolidge Street to Bank Street
Bank Street:  Grandview Avenue to Dewey Avenue
Dewey Avenue:  Bank Street to Station Street
Station Street:  Dewey Avenue to PA 50
PA 50:  Station Street to Prestley Road
Prestley Road:  PA 50 to Thomas Run and Oakdale Road
Thomas Run and Oakdale Road:  Prestley Road to Battle Ridge Road
Battle Ridge Road:  Thomas Run and Oakdale Road to PA 978
PA 978:  Battle Ridge Road to McKee Road
McKee Road:  PA 978 to US 22/US 30
US 22/US 30:  McKee Road to I-376
I-376:  US 22/US 30 to Interstate Business Loop 376
Interstate Business Loop 376:  I-376 to University Boulevard
University Boulevard:  Interstate Business Loop 376 to PA 51
PA 51:  University Boulevard to Sewickley Bridge
Sewickley Bridge:  PA 51 to Broad Street
Broad Street:  Sewickley Bridge to Centennial Avenue
Centennial Avenue:  Broad Street to Blackburn Road
Blackburn Road:  Beaver Road to Fern Hollow Road
Fern Hollow Road:  Blackburn Road to Duff City Road
Duff City Road:  Fern Hollow Road to Camp Meeting Road
Camp Meeting Road:  Duff City Road to Rochester Road
Rochester Road:  Camp Meeting Road to Wexford-Bayne Road
Wexford-Bayne Road:  Rochester Road to PA 910
PA 910:  Wexford-Bayne Road to Oak Road
Oak Road:  PA 910 to Bairdford Road
Bairdford Road:  Oak Road to Saxonburg Boulevard
Saxonburg Boulevard:  Bairdford Road to East Union Road
East Union Road:  Saxonburg Boulevard to Starr Road
Starr Road:  East Union Road to Little Deer Creek Valley Road
Little Deer Creek Valley Road:  Starr Road to Creighton-Russellton Road
Creighton-Russellton Road:  Little Deer Creek Valley Road to Deer Hollow Lane
Deer Hollow Lane:  Creighton-Russellton Road to Crawford Run Road
Crawford Run Road:  Deer Hollow Lane to Freeport Road
Freeport Road:  Crawford Run Road to New Kensington Bridge
New Kensington Bridge:  Freeport Road to PA 56
PA 56:  New Kensington Bridge to Truck PA 56
Truck PA 56:  PA 56 to Logan's Ferry Road
Logan's Ferry Road:  PA 366 to Leechburg Road
Leechburg Road:  Logan's Ferry Road to New Texas Road
New Texas Road:  Leechburg Road to PA 380
PA 380:  New Texas Road to Center Road
Center Road: PA 380 to Haymaker Road
Haymaker Road:  Center Road to PA 48
PA 48:  Haymaker Road to PA 51
Expressway: McKee Road to University Boulevard
History: The route originally followed Old McKee Road, Enlow Road, and Cliff Mine Road between McKee Road and PA 60 prior to 1972.  The Belt was moved that year to continue on McKee Road to US 22/US 30 and PA 60.  In 1974, the designation was moved from Little Deer Creek Valley Road and Crawford Run Road near Russellton to the current, straighter route and moved from Freeport Street and Constitution Boulevard in New Kensington to PA 366.  In 2007, the route was move again in New Kensington, this time to moved from PA 56 and PA 366 to bypass the downtown area via Truck PA 56 between PA 56 and Logan's Ferry Road.

The Belt was originally a complete circle, stretching into Washington County via Lovedale Road, Glassport and Elizabeth Road, PA 51, PA 837, Elrama Avenue, Finleyville-Elrama Road, to PA 88 and onward to its current terminus in Library.  This section was eliminated in the mid-1970s.  The Orange Belt still enters Westmoreland County, which makes it the only one to be signed outside Allegheny County.

Links: Interstate 376
US 22
US 30
Boston Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
New Kensington Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Sewickley Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Terminus of the Orange Belt - Adam Prince

Red Belt Terminus 1: PA 65 in Leetsdale
Terminus 2: Seventh Avenue in Tarentum
Length: 33.50 miles
Route
(clockwise):
Cross Street:  PA 65 to Main Street
Main Street:  Cross Street to Ambridge Avenue
Ambridge Avenue:  Main Street to Big Sewickley Creek Road
Big Sewickley Creek Road:  Ambridge Avenue to Warrendale-Bayne Road
Warrendale-Bayne Road:  Big Sewickley Creek Road to Warrendale-Bakerstown Road
Warrendale-Bakerstown Road:  Warrendale-Bayne Road to Bakerstown-Warrendale Road
Bakerstown-Warrendale Road:  Warrendale-Bakerstown Road to Babcock Boulevard
Babcock Boulevard:  Bakerstown-Warrendale Road to Warrendale-Bakerstown Road
Warrendale-Bakerstown Road:  Babcock Boulevard to Bakerstown-Culmersville Road
Bakerstown-Culmersville Road:  Warrendale-Bakerstown Road to Bakerstown Road
Bakerstown Road:  Bakerstown-Culmersville Road to Bull Creek Road
Bull Creek Road:  Bakerstown Road to PA 366
PA 366:  Bull Creek Road to Seventh Avenue
Expressway: None
History: The western terminus and eastern terminus were moved to their current locations in 1974.  The original western terminus was at PA 51 in Aliquippa via the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge, 11th Street, Duss Avenue, Merchant Street, and Beaver Street.  The eastern terminus was moved to its present location from the Freeport Road/Leechburg Road intersection in Lower Burrell.
Links: Terminus of the Red Belt - Adam Prince

Links:
Pittsburgh Highways
Allegheny County Department of Public Works
Allegheny County Belt System Map - Nathan Perry
Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System - Bruce Cridlebaugh

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Page updated October 16, 2013.
Content and graphics, unless otherwise noted, copyright Jeffrey J. Kitsko. All rights reserved.
Belt system shields courtesy of Bruce Cridlebaugh.
Information courtesy of Allegheny County Department of Public Works, Rand McNally, Pittsburgh Figured Out atlas, Steve Smallhoover, Bruce Cridlebaugh, Nathan Perry, and Evan Shirey.