Grand Army of the Republic Highway
One of the longest US highways which stretched from Cape Cod all the way to Los Angeles until 1964, US 6 was signed in 1926 and in the early years its western terminus was in Erie. The designation turned northwest at Union City and followed the current PA 97 alignment to end at US 20.
The highway was mostly complete in its first decade of existence, with the exception from Columbus to Backus Corners, tributary of Pine Creek to Ansonia, and Tafton to Milford which were under construction in 1927. Also that year, sections from Sweden Valley to West Pike, Wysox to Wylausing, Kingsley to Osweld Johnson Road. In 1928, those sections were completed and the designation switched alignments with US 106 between Wylausing and Carbondale, with US 106 taking the northern route via current PA 706, US 11, and PA 106. However, construction was not finished as work began that year on the section between the Lackawanna County line to Steene and completed the following year. In 1929, the section from Steene to Honesdale was under construction and completed in 1930.
In 1932, the western terminus was moved from Erie all the way to Greeley, Colorado and placed on its current alignment to Ohio. In 1938, US 6 was widened from Clarks Summit to Scranton and Milford to the New York state line.
The next widening of the highway would occur in 1940 from South Watson Run Road to Culver Drive, US 19 to the location of the current I-79 interchange, Kerrtown to Meadville, Warren to Glade, Troy to PA 14 North, Dark Hollow Road to Treible Road, Tunkhannock to PA 92, and Carbondale to the Wayne County line. In 1941, the designation was moved onto the current alignment from Smethport to Port Allegheny replacing PA 59. Before it followed PA 46, PA 446, and PA 155 between the two boroughs. Another change was the movement onto the current alignment between PA 660 near Whitneyville and Mansfield. Previously it followed PA 660 and Business US 15 to Mansfield. In 1946, the route was moved to the current Business US 6 alignment between Scranton and Childs. Originally, the route utilized Main Street, Eynon-Jermyn Road, Washington Avenue, Poplar Street, and Old Plank Road between the two locations. In 1949, the route was widened from Corry to PA 426 North, Meshoppen Creek Road to Russell Hill, and Treible Road to Tunkhannock.
Work continued with widening taking place from Jackson Corner to Warren and the Lackawanna County line to Waymart in 1951. In 1952, the highway was widened from the current I-79 interchange to Kerrtown. In 1954, the designation was moved onto its current alignment in Meadville from PA 102 to Park Avenue which it was now signed on completely. In 1955, the designation was moved off current PA 307 and Winola Road to follow the current alignment from Tunkhannock to Factoryville. The section of US 6 from Factoryville to Scranton was built on the original Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad right of way. In 1956, the highway through Mount Jewett and Smethport was widened. In 1958, the highway was widened in Cambridge Springs, in Union City, Mead Run Road to the current Main Street interchange, in Kane, in Towanda, and in Honesdale, while a median was installed from PA 102 to Meadville, Stanek Road to Russel Hill, and US 11 to Scranton. Also that year, construction began on the section of I-81 from Exit 188 to Exit 191. In 1959, the highway was widened from the Youngsville interchange to Warren and Cutoff Road to Dewey Avenue.
The first year of the 1960s saw the completion of I-81 from Exit 188 to Exit 191. Safety measures in the form of a median continued into the 1960s, when in 1961, one was installed from Conneaut Lake to PA 102. Also in 1961, construction began on I-81 from Exit 187 to Exit 188 and Exit 191 to Exit 194. A year later both sections opened to traffic. In 1963, a median was installed between Struggle Lane and Irish Farm Road. In 1964, a median was installed from Dolittle Hill Road to Stanek Road. In 1966, the highway was widened from Spalford Road to Sterling Hill Road and Wyalusing Township line to the Wyoming County line and a median installed in the middle of those two sections. Construction began in 1967 from Conelway Road to PA 426 to bypass Corry, and was opened a year later. The designation was removed from Washington Street and PA 426 and placed onto the new alignment. The first expressway replacement project for the highway began in 1968, which construction started from Youngsville to Scott Run Road. Construction on two non-expressway alignments began that year as well just east of Port Allegheny and between the Main Street intersections north of Roulette. These projects opened to traffic in 1969.
In 1970, a median was installed from Old Route 6 to Pennsylvania Avenue in Warren. In 1971, construction began on the French Creek Parkway in Meadville between Linden Street and Baldwin Street Extension. In 1973, construction began on a new expressway alignment from Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Avenue in Warren. In 1974, the French Creek Parkway opened and with it, the US 6 designation was removed from Park Avenue, Baldwin Street, and Baldwin Street Extension. In the Bicentennial year of our country, the section of expressway from Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Avenue in Warren opened.
Construction on the remainder from Main Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue in 1985. This section opened to traffic in 1987, and removed the US 6 designation from Pennsylvania Avenue West and East in Warren.
Another expressway project got underway in the 1990s to improve travel between Scranton and Carbondale. Ground was broken in 1994 on the Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway between the I-81/I-84/I-380 interchange and US 6 alignment east of Carbondale. The first section to open was from Exit 6 to east of Carbondale where it tied into the existing alignment in 1996, and in October 1997, it was completed from Exit 1 to Exit 6. The remaining sections of the project to open were the ramps at the I-81/I-84/I-380 interchange. The ramps to/from I-84/I-380 opened in late 1998 and the ones to/from I-81 on September 3, 1999. At the dedication ceremony, the completed expressway was renamed the Governor Robert. P. Casey Highway in honor of the man who helped make it a reality.
With the completed interchange open to traffic, the US 6 designation was moved onto Interstate 81 from Exit 194 to Exit 187.
Another new alignment of US 6 opened in October 2000. The Tunkhannock Bypass, which began in 1999, opened which provides a faster way around the town. The new alignment is a Super-2, which is a two-lane highway built on a four-lane right-of-way. This is not totally an expressway, because there are traffic signals at PA 29 and PA 92. Tioga Street through town became Business US 6.
Michael Rudolf, a resident of Tunkhannock, had this to say about the Casey Highway and Tunkhannock Bypass, "Even though PennDOT did not give the highway that name until nearly a year after it opened, residents of Tunkhannock and Wyoming County were calling it the "Casey Highway" even while it was still being built - in a derogatory way. That's because the project was rushed through during the Casey administration, with inception, design and construction all within a few short years. Meanwhile, Governor Casey postponed all progress on the Tunkhannock Bypass - a project that had been proposed for more than 30 years and had been planned for almost a decade. It wasn't until Governor Tom Ridge came to office that the Tunkhannock project got back on track. (I wouldn't be surprised if someday the Tunkhannock Bypass bears Ridge's name)."
A $42 million project began on March 11, 2014 to improve the section from Clarks Summit to Tunkhannock. "This road does have a lot of traffic, a lot of that is truck traffic. Because of that we wanted to make sure we were not able to have to post the bridges down," said PennDOT spokesperson James May. Work will involve replacing eight bridges along the route as well as replacing pavement, adjusting traffic patterns, and installation of two traffic signals, one of which at the entrance to Keystone College, and conclude in November 2017. "We're going all the way down to the base and replacing the road, doing a lot of work on the bridges, we're going to be installing two new signals and upgrading the other signals, So it's a major, major project here that we're doing," said PennDOT official James May.
When the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic swept into the country in March 2020, PennDOT took measures to stem the spread to their employees and staff. At 12:01 AM on March 17, all rest areas and welcome centers across the state, including the one in Pike County, were closed to the traveling public. Also all Driver License and Photo License centers were closed for two weeks and construction projects on roads under the Department of Transportation's jurisdiction were stopped. Hearing that construction work was halted could come as welcome news, the idea of closing down the rest areas did not sit well with truckers, trucking firms, nor some elected officials. It was then announced that on Thursday, March 19, barricades would come down at 13 rest areas across the state and they would be reopened with portable restroom facilities while the permanent facilities would remain closed. "Every decision made has been in the interest of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and we are constantly reevaluating our response," said PennDOT spokeswoman Alexis Campbell. "That said, we also recognize that drivers need and deserve access to rest areas." PennDOT announced on March 24 that an additional 10 would reopen, and including the original 13, all would provide normal service with additional cleaning and maintenance.
US 6 Auxiliary Routes
US 6 Pictures
Gateway to the Endless Mountains - Pennsylvania Byways
Governor Casey Byway - Pennsylvania Byways
National Scenic Byways: Route 6
Pennsylvania Route 6 Tourist Association
Route 6 Walk - Joe Hurley
Terminus of US 6 - Dale Sanderson
U.S. 6 - The Grand Army of the Republic Highway - Federal Highway Administration
US 6 Pictures - Steve Alpert
US 6 Photos - Valerie Deane
US Route 6 - David Golub
|Ohio state line in Pennline|
|New York state line at the Mid-Delaware Bridge in Matamoras|
|Conneaut Lake to Meadville
US 6N to Carbondale
I-84 to Milford
|Names:||Grand Army of the Republic Highway
Penn Street, Erie Street, Water Street, French Creek Parkway, Main Street, Lakes to Sea Highway, Church Street, River Street, Venango Street, Center Street, High Street, Columbus Avenue, Warren Bypass, Crary Avenue, Fraley Street, Greeves Street, Biddle Street, Wood Street, Marvin Street, East Street, Port Allegheny Road, Chestnut Street, Second Street, Tioga Street, East Avenue, Wellsboro Street, Sullivan Street, Elmira Street, Reuter Boulevard, York Avenue, State Street, Christy Mathewson Highway, Roosevelt Highway, North State Street, South State Street, Northern Boulevard, American Legion Memorial Highway, Robert P. Casey Highway, Fortinia Road, Park Street, Fourth Street, Willow Avenue, Grandview Avenue, Hudson Street, Park Place, Bellemonte Avenue, Harford Street, Broad Street, Constitution Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue
0081: I-84/I-380 to Exit 194
|Counties:||Crawford, Erie, Warren, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike|
|Expressway:||Youngsville to US 62
Exit 194 to Exit 187 on I-81
I-81 to Business US 6 in Carbondale
|PA 18: Conneaut Lake to one mile east
PA 285: Conneaut Lake
US 322: Conneaut Lake to Meadville
US 19: one mile west of I-79 to US 6N
PA 198: Saegertown
PA 8: Union City
PA 89: Elgin to north of Lovell
PA 27: Pittsfield to Youngsville
US 62: Irvine to Warren
PA 321: Kane
PA 46: Smethport to East Smethport
PA 155: Port Allegheny
PA 44: Coudersport to Sweden Valley
PA 287: Stokesdale to Wellsboro
PA 660: Wellsboro to Whitneyville
PA 14: Troy to one mile east of town
PA 92: Tunkhannock to Dixon
US 11: one mile west of Factoryville to near Exit 194 of I-81
I-81: I-84/I-380 to Exit 194
PA 191: Honesdale
PA 590: Hawley to Wilsonville
US 209: Milford to the New York state line
|PA 5 (1925 - 1930): Meadville to Waterford
PA 7 (1925 - 1930): Waterford to the New York state line
PA 6 (1926 - 1927): Kane to Mount Jewett
US 106 (1926 - 1928): Wyalusing to Scranton
PA 19 (1926 - 1930): Carbondale to Indian Orchard
PA 12 (1926 - 1928): Milford to the New York state line
PA 67 (1927 - 1928): Ohio state line to Meadville
PA 10 (1927 - 1928): Kane to Mount Jewett
PA 57 (1927 - 1928): Smethport to Port Allegheny
PA 59 (1928 - 1941): Smethport to Port Allegheny
PA 77 (1928 - 1932): Ohio state line to Conneaut Lake
|Ansonia to Stokesdale|
|Main Street in Towanda to North Towanda|
|Linesville to Harmonsburg Road
Baldwin Street to Youngsville
US 62 to Business US 6
Business US 6 to PA 107
Business US 6 to Carbondale Road
Keen to the New York state line
|Washington Township to PA 29
I-81 to Business US 6
|Meadville to US 6N|
|Business US 6|