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Turnpike 43 FINALLY Opens to West Virginia

Coverage of the dual ribbon-cutting ceremonies in West Virginia and Pennsylvania which signaled the opening of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.

Tom Petty said the waiting is the hardest part, and the Turnpike Commission can attest to that musical proclamation.  The Mason-Dixon Link, which is the section from the state line to Exit 8 of the Mon-Fayette Expressway, was built in the late 1990s. The majority of it opened on March 1, 2000 to traffic.  The exception was the piece from the West Virginia state line to Exit 2. That would remain unopened for a little over a decade. The reason due to construction of WV 43 taking longer than projected because of finance issues.  Ironically that problem would be solved during the economic downturn of the latter part of the 2000s. ARRA, or economic stimulus, dollars were provided to the states for “shovel-ready” projects. Today, PA Turnpike 43 finally opens to West Virginia!

Entering PA Turnpike 43 northbound via the off-ramp at Exit 2
Entering PA Turnpike 43 northbound at Exit 2 in a southerly direction to reach the site of the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

At last, the time finally came to let that “new road smell” loose and allow vehicles other than construction company ones to drive across the state line.  Two ribbon-cutting ceremonies would be held: one south of the Mason-Dixon Line and one north.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation was up first at 10:30 AM. They brought their starting line-up of dignitaries including Senator Joe Manchin III and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.  Below is footage of the West Virginia ceremony.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHJiS1ueIoo

After the cutting of the ribbon, it was time to jump into the provided shuttle buses or your personal vehicle and head back north into Pennsylvania.  Our ribbon-cutting event was not as long nor as well attended by officials as West Virginia’s.

Local and state officials cutting the ribbon for PA Turnpike 43 at the state line
The people most responsible for the highway coming into existence are behind the sign, from left to right:  PTC Commissioner J. William Lincoln, new PTC CEO William K. Lieberman, Senator Richard Kasunic, and former Senator J. Barry Stout.

The ceremonies marking the end of the 11 year wait for the Mon-Fayette Expressway’s “Mason-Dixon Link” to finally cross the Mason-Dixon Line. In short, PA Turnpike 43 finally opens to West Virginia!

Officials Open Yet Another Part of Mon-Fayette Expressway – Greensburg Tribune-Review

 

By pahighways

Jeff Kitsko has been the owner and webmaster of Pennsylvania Highways since its inception in 1997 as a means to illustrate the history of the Commonwealth's roadways.

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