Communities looking at ways to ease traffic
More than 20,000 vehicles travel down Washington Pike in Bridgeville and into South Fayette Township on any given day, according to the South West Communities Chamber of Commerce.
And with the amount of both commercial and residential development taking place in South Fayette, Bridgeville and Upper St. Clair, traffic congestion is going to get worse in the not-so-distant future. Much worse.
With that in mind, South Fayette Township officials formed a traffic task force, which includes representatives from Bridgeville, Upper St. Clair, the state Department of Transportation and Allegheny County, to come up with projects on how best to remedy the congestion problem before it spirals out of control. As of yet, there is no set time frame for the work.
“We recognize there is a traffic problem,” said Mike Benton, South Fayette’s engineer.
“We’re working with PennDOT,” said Benton, adding Route 50 and Washington Pike are state-owned roads.
The task force has come up with several projects it would like to see done and tapped Gateway Engineers of Monroeville to do design work.
At the top of the list, Benton said, is the widening of the bridge that spans Chartiers Creek on Washington Pike between South Fayette and Bridgeville. That bridge is currently four lanes. Benton said the task force would like to see it become seven lanes. The task force also wants a dedicated right-turn lane to Chartiers Street for vehicles crossing the bridge into Bridgeville would be added as well. There are also plans to widen Chartiers Street.
To give motorists better access to The Crossings at South Fayette on Washington Pike near the Route 50-Interstate 79 interchange, the task force group has proposed adding a full left-turn lane. In addition, it has suggested adding a second left-turn lane on southbound Washington Pike to better access the I-79 interchange ramps and adding a dedicated right-turn lane from Bridgeville to the I-79 northbound ramp.
The last projects on the task force list is the installation of an adaptive traffic light system on Route 50 and Washington Pike, near I-79. The system, which would be made up of seven or eight traffic lights, would communicate with each other and adjust timing to help control the floe of traffic. Benton said each signal costs $50,000 and that the township will use traffic impact fees paid by local commercial and residential developers, as well as grant money to fund this project.