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Community Day on the Expressway

Today was the latest of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s “Community Day on the Expressway” events. This is the third one which I have attended. However, this is the first one I went to for a section of roadway which I was also at its groundbreaking ceremony.

The festivities took place just outside of Uniontown on the newest section of the Mon-Fayette Expressway. It will open to traffic on October 23.  These are nice events that the PTC holds prior to opening a new section of roadway. They give the public to chance to preview the new roadway.

Today’s “Community Day” took place at Exit 18. It was held in partnership with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, Steps to a Healthier PA – Fayette County, the National Road Heritage Corridor, and construction manager TCMS-Maguire.

Steps to a Healthier PA – Fayette County sponsored a Family Fun Walk. Although it began at 9 AM, it lasted the rest of the day. The public was welcome to walk, jog, or bike on eight miles of the road. However, school buses provided a quicker tour if you did not want to use those options to view Turnpike 43. After that, the next part of the event was the “Modes of Transportation” parade at 10 AM.

Fifteen vendors selling food and crafts lined the road. A children’s area had balloon art from Airheads Balloon Art to keep the kids busy. The Rainbow Express trackless train was available for them to ride around on the roadway nearby.  In addition, there were informational booths from the Turnpike Commission and the National Road Heritage Corridor.

Vendors of all kinds line the northbound lanes of PA Turnpike 43 for Community Day on the Expressway.
Food vendors, informational booths, and a children’s area were provided
The Rainbow Express trackless train was one of several activities for children during Community Day on the Expressway.
The Rainbow Express trackless train was one of several activities for children

Residents Get Close-Up View of Expressway – Uniontown Herald Standard

 
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Events News

Community Day on the Findlay Connector

Today was the Turnpike Commission’s Community Day on the Findlay Connector. The official name is the Southern Beltway and the designation is PA Turnpike 576. It was not my first visit, but my second visit to the completed roadway.  However, unlike during the National meet back in August, the State Police did not chase me off the expressway this time.

This Community Day event reminded me of the first one I attended in 1993. That was the first one the Turnpike Commission did prior to PA Turnpike 66 opening.

There were things there for everyone to enjoy during what the PTC called a “once-in-a-lifetime” event. For me, it was a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I cite the aforementioned trip down the unopened expressway that came to an abrupt end.

This time around everyone was allowed onto the expressway and not just attendees to a road enthusiast meet. Booths of all kind lined what are the northbound lanes at the US 30 interchange, or Exit 2. Food booths provided quick meals for those who attended. The West Allegheny and Moon Area high school bands and West Hills Symphony Orchestra performed for the crowd. The PTC had a booth with information on the entire Southern Beltway project, Turnpike maps, and E-ZPass applications.  Port Authority buses made continual loops of the six-mile-long section so people to see the expressway. At the same time, others hiked, jogged, and biked the alignment.

Festivities taking place near Exit 2 for Community Day on the Findlay Connector.
Community Day on the Expressway festivities at Exit 2

I finished my Community Day on the Findlay Connector taking a ride down the expressway. I have always enjoyed these open houses that the PTC hold, and not just for the free stuff. Hopefully they continue to be a part of the PTC’s public relations “tool box.”

Getting Around: Did You Too Miss the Turnpike’s Party on Route 576? – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 
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