Transportation in the east of Pittsburg has been limited both by the antiquated design of the Parkway East and the limited public transportation.  Pittsburgh used to have streetcars go out as far as Pitcairn.  Today we only have 3 buses going east near Churchill.  A separate article will discuss public transit as it was much more extensive when the Westinghouse R&D was at peak employment about 1971.

There is no alternative route west except through the Squirrel Hill tunnel.  That tunnel was build 70 years ago.  It is designed for a maximum throughput of 60,000 vehicles, mostly passenger cars.

Today it has over 100,000 vehicles a day, including many semi-trucks during the workweek, and over 80,000 vehicles on weekend days.  That is why there is always a backup at the tunnel, except perhaps at 4 AM.

The tunnel is rehabilitated every 30 years. Think back to the rerouting done just 5 years ago.

Now many of the original sections need to be replaced completely, including the bridge that approaches it from the east.  This means severe traffic disruption for at least the next 5 years, section by section. A spate article on PenDot will discuss this.

The Parkway East was built in the mid 20th century and was not really constructed to even the first standards of the interstate highway system of the mid ’50s. Designing highways back then involved a different process.  Governments have had 60 years of experience raising the standards of safety and efficiency for limited access highways.   The Parkway East does not have them.

Cars simply were not as fast when the parkway was constructed were built.  It is not unusual for traffic to be driving 70 miles an hour. (until it approaches the tunnel of course where everything stops)  And there were not as many of them on a given road as we find today.

Plus, Pittsburgh east is unlike newer cities where there are often alternative high-speed local roads, or arterial roads, adjacent to a major highway for residents to take for shorter trips, Pittsburgh is very dense with steep hills and no alternatives.  Roads to relieve pressure on the Parkway East does not exist.

In fact, the roads at entrances and exits even predate the Parkway East and so even they are stretched beyond the original use.

Traffic starts to back up at 6 AM and extends bumper to bumper back past Churchill, often to Rodi Road. You cannot avoid these backups on the Parkway because there is no alternative route downtown. Consequently, It limits traffic to downtown so one can easily sit in traffic 45 minutes in the morning.


On average Amazon can unload a 53-foot trailer in 20 minutes.  If we just assume 1 per hour, 49 loading docks working 24 hours a day produces 1176 trucks at the docks.  Each truck must arrive, and depart, loaded or not.  That means the Beulah Road and Greensburg Pike entrances to the property will be handling 2352 trucks on these locations.

Divide that by 24 hours, 2 AM is the same as 2 PM, and you get 98 trucks per hour, or 1.63 trucks every minute of every day, 365 days a year.

Greensburg Pike exit

Heading east you can exit at the circle up to the Greensburg Pike.  Look at that angle.  It would never be build that way today.  Yet the distribution center thinks it will handle the additional traffic.  Of course the state could use eminent domain and totally rebuild it to current standards.  How much might that cost and who would lose their homes?

But then we have to ask, who would be using the entrance road off the Greensburg Pike, just across from the schools.  Those vehicles have to come from somewhere.  That entrance is a key part of their slide presentation.  Will there be semi-trucks and or cars?

William Penn entrance east

How easy is it for cars to turn left into that entrance and then to merge into traffic?  Imagine the Amazon semi-trucks stopped on William Penn waiting for clearance to turn left.  Once entered the off lane on the right side of the parkway helps a little, but unless you really want to exit into Forest hills, you still need to merge.  How well will 500 or more semi-trucks fit into that transition point every day of the year?

Beulah road exit from the east

That is a single off-ramp lane and breaks into a left lane, south on Beulah, a center lane for William Penn, and a narrow right lane going north on Beulah.

Semi-trucks regularly use it now going north mostly. And nearly clip cars every day.  Just take time to go observe how tight those turns are.  Then imagine an additional 500 plus semi-trucks daily coming off the parkway, going left under the parkway single lane to turn right onto the old Westinghouse campus.

Of course, PennDOT could construct a whole new exit, but again, who pays, and who loses property.  Property, just as on the Greensburg Pike, that goes off the tax rolls for the borough.  Meaning, remaining taxes go up just to cover existing borough expenses.

Beulah Road on-ramp going east from William Penn

Heading east uphill there is at least a dedicated left lane for entering next to the fast lane.  This can work for cars who then are able to merge by Rodi road.  Think about a semi-truck going uphill here and trying to merge back into the right lane through the fast lane from downtown.  That is dangerous.

Beulah road exit from West onto Churchill road

Like so many of the on and off-ramps, this one has a short off-ramp and sharp right turn heading toward Beulah Road.  You will see many semi-trucks now exiting and then turning right at Beulah going north up Beulah.  With a stop sign at the end. At Churchill road, think about the time each vehicle will require to slow, stop, and go again, and then think how much more difficult this is for a large semi-truck and the resulting back-up congestion back up the off-ramp.

Churchill Road on-ramp going east

First, it is nearly impossible to merge into traffic for a car, especially during rush hour.  You cannot see oncoming traffic until you reach the top where you must stop and look.  Then accelerate quickly to merge from a dead stop.  Can you really see a loaded semi-truck accelerating from a stop to the speed of traffic within that short on-ramp?

In each of these on and off-ramps you will frequently find several semi-trucks one behind the other due to the sheer quantity needed to fill and empty a distribution center.  Truck are slower than cars, so if cars have problems getting on the Parkway, then the truck will find it even more difficult.


All of the existing roads once you leave the parkway are functioning at maximum capacity now.

Beulah Road

This is a major artery north and south. It is a single lane except in one section of about 2/10 of a mile.

Heading up from Turtle Creek it is one lane to the landslide section of the old Westinghouse Campus (demonstrating just how unstable the land is where Hillwood plans to use fill with the retaining wall)  with the concrete jersey barriers.  At Churchill Road there is a left and a right turn lane, then a single lane under the parkway with a left turn lane for William Penn and commuters headed mostly toward the parkway’s west entrance.

Why is it important to note the single lanes?  It is because all industrial parks have extra-wide streets of double lanes to separate large semi-trucks from passenger cars and to allow space for the semi-trucks to stop when checking their logs, their load, or to wait for their reserved delivery time.

None of that exists in Churchill.  To understand the importance, you must visit one of the industrial parks with these mega distribution centers to understand that even they are performing close to maximum capacity, even when designed for it.  Churchill was not and actually cannot be so converted.

That means the traffic infrastructure of a distribution center will create unbelievable traffic jams.  And once built it cannot be changed.  And Hillwood, who builds and then sells (flips) the properties to investment companies, will be long gone.  Churchill Borough will have no solutions.

The following links will prove useful in understanding the challenges everyone faces who lives east of the Squirrel Hill tunnels.  A separate article will have links to PennDOT on their plans to improve the Parkway East.

It is about 32 pages of material, but if you take the time you will learn about:

1—the history of the Parkway and why it was so unique when first constructed

2—how on and off-ramps are constructed

3—why is it call I 376?

Drivers, You’re Not Alone. Pittsburgh Really Does Have Frustrating And Short On-Ramps


The on-ramp from Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood to the Parkway East outbound is, according to many area drivers, one of the most difficult merge points. The road is built into a hill and requires drivers to stop before accelerating into traffic.


Ever feared you might not be able to merge onto a Pittsburgh-area highway? You’re not alone. As part of 90.5 WESA’s Good Question! series, Katie Blackley looks into just why the region’s on-ramps are so short.

Driving in Pittsburgh is confusing. The streets aren’t on a grid system and going over the wrong bridge could result in a long, unwelcomed detour.

Learning to maneuver the city’s streets is frustrating, but listener Ron Dylewski found that merging onto the region’s highways to be particularly challenging.

“Why are there so many on-ramps in the Pittsburgh area that are so dangerous and so short?” Dylewski asked.

An on-ramp from Freeport Road in Aspinwall to Route 28 toward Pittsburgh includes a stop sign that drivers must heed before merging to join the traffic coming from the Highland Park Bridge.


To get into the city, Dylewski takes the Virginia Avenue Extension from Aspinwall, which gives drivers about 900 feet to accelerate to the speed of traffic on Route 28. He said it’s nearly impossible to match the highway’s traffic because of the lane’s short distance.

“Meanwhile, you have to wait for people to be kind or, not, to let you in,” he said. “I think Pittsburgh struggles with this dichotomy of should I speed up and merge, or should I sit here and wait?”

Dylewski’s not alone. Many other Pittsburghers were eager to talk about their most hated merge points around the city, including Reese McArdle, who grew up in Edgewood. Driving home, he used to frequent the on-ramp from Greenfield to the Parkway East. The stretch of road is on the side of a hill and forces drivers to come to a stop, before merging into traffic travelling at highway speeds.

“[Then you have to] step on the gas, get up to speed as quickly as possible and… get out of the lane, unless you want to exit and do the whole thing over again,” he said.

Listener Jerry Fitzgibbon’s frustrating ramp leads to Bates Street in Oakland from the Parkway where traffic sometimes backs up both ways.

“You can actually roll down your window and have a conversation with somebody that’s going to other way,” he said.

Safety was a recurring theme when we talked to drivers. Listener Kate Schaich said she’s seen many near-accidents on the Parkway East.

The on-ramp from Greenfield to the Parkway East as seen from the top of the street. Drivers must merge quickly after coming to a complete stop in order to join the flow of traffic heading toward Squirrel Hill Tunnel.


“It gets to be really dangerous because people panic and jerk their wheel because they go, ‘Oh! Oh no! I’m supposed to get off here!’ and then end up careening across two lanes of traffic,” she said, referring to the on-ramp before the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

On the other side of the city, there’s the on-ramp from Greentree to the Parkway West. It’s another stop sign on-ramp where drivers have only a few feet to zoom into traffic flying by at 60 or 70 miles per hour.

Dylweski said ideally, drivers should “zipper” one after another to merge, which he said would reduce congestion. But, he said, that doesn’t often happen in Pittsburgh.

“Because it’s so difficult to merge, a lot of people will get into the left lane 2 miles before they need to because they’re afraid people aren’t going to let them in.”

In the infrastructure’s defense, most of Pittsburgh’s highways were built in the mid-20th Century, they weren’t really made to be highways like in other parts of the country. University of Pittsburgh Civil Engineering Professor Mark Magalotti said most of the region’s parkways were built in the 1950s and ’60s, early in the era of interstate highways.

This is part of our Good Question! series where we investigate what you’ve always wondered about Pittsburgh, its people and its culture.

Designing highways back then involved a different process, with far fewer standards than are used today, he said. Cars weren’t as fast when the roads were built and there weren’t as many of them. Plus, unlike younger cities where there might be a high speed local, or, arterial road, adjacent to a major highway for residents to take for shorter trips, Pittsburgh is very dense.

“In cities like Pittsburgh, people use the freeways almost like a local road. They make very short trips to get to one interchange or another and that’s really not what they’re designed for,” he said.

The density of Pittsburgh’s roadways contributes to situations like the one pictured on the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, where drivers must sometimes switch several lanes in a short period of time to get to their desired destination.


Younger cities, he said, are more likely to be on a grid system, or designed concurrently with major highways, so residents had an alternate, local routes. In a 2011 report for PennDOT, Magalotti studied the efficiency of Pennsylvania’s ramps and provided recommendations to improve them. The most common fix to these short ramps, he said, is lengthening them during rehabilitation periods.

“They do look for opportunities to extend those and where possible they will do it,” Magalotti said. “But in many cases, they’re limited by bridges and hillsides and other things that make it almost impossible to do.”

PennDOT has also looked into “ramp management strategies.” This typically means crews install traffic signals on-ramps to regulate flow. The lights would change to allow ramp traffic to merge, depending on the congestion levels of the freeway.

“There’s one installation in eastern Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia area,” he said. “But for the most part, it’s not used.”

Other states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, have been utilizing ramp management for decades. In the Pittsburgh area, however, Magalotti said there’s been pushback from communities closer to the city who feel like installing traffic lights would make their commute longer because as they see it, traffic coming further would be prioritized. They’d have to wait at a light while the out-of-towners fly by.

“I think that [PennDOT] pretty much decided not to do it and maybe look for some other solutions to the problem,” Magalotti said.

Ramp meters are traffic signals on freeway on-ramps to control how often vehicles enter the flow of incoming traffic. This illustration demonstrates how the cars are released into the mainline road.


In lieu of extending ramps or implementing traffic lights, PennDOT has focused on adding signage and preparing drivers for congestion and upcoming merges. That’s why there are a lot of signs instructing when and how to merge on Pittsburgh-area highways, even if, as this meme lovingly points out, drivers only have 100 feet to read them.

Parkway East

I-376 continues east from the Point, still carrying the partially-unsigned US 22 and US 30, following the north shore of the Monongahela River through the south side of the downtown area (the westbound area by Downtown from Grant Street to the Fort Pitt Bridge is locally known as the Bathtub because of a tendency of the underpass to flood in heavy rains).[4] The road then continues to the adjacent neighborhoods of Soho and Oakland. The Parkway East eventually turns away from the river near the southwestern corner of Schenley Park and runs along that park’s southern border before passing through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel under Squirrel Hill.

I-376 westbound approaching Downtown Pittsburgh

Parkway East exits the city of Pittsburgh near the southeastern corner of Frick Park, and US 30 leaves the freeway shortly thereafter at PA 8 in the suburb of Wilkinsburg. I-376 and US 22 (now fully signed) continue in a generally easterly direction through ChurchillWilkins TownshipPenn Hills, and finally, Monroeville, where I-376 ends at an interchange with the Pennsylvania Turnpike and US 22 Business. US 22 continues east from this interchange on the William Penn Highway towards Murrysville.

The first section of what would eventually become I-376 opened June 5, 1953, from PA 885 (Bates Street) near the Hot Metal Bridge east through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel to US 22 Business (then US 22) at Churchill. Construction commenced on this stretch on July 25, 1946 near Wilkinsburg.[12] The next section to open, running from PA 60 (Steubenville Pike, then US 22/US 30) near Pittsburgh International Airport east to Saw Mill Run Boulevard (PA 51 and US 19), opened October 15, 1953. At Steubenville Pike, it connected to PA 60—the Airport Parkway—which had been built c. 1950[13] as a high-speed surface road to provide access to the airport.

In 1955, the Baltimore and Ohio Station was demolished to make way for the construction of the new freeway. In late 1956, it opened from the Boulevard of the Allies (then US 22/US 30) near the Birmingham Bridge east to Bates Street, with the eastbound lanes opening September 10 and westbound opening September 29. The other downtown sections opened in segments from January 17, 1958 to 1959, the total cost of the parkway at this time came to $112.107 million (1959 terms).[12] The $6.305 million Fort Pitt Bridge opened June 19, 1959, followed by the $16 million Fort Pitt Tunnel on September 1, 1960, using the West End Bypass (PA 51) and Carson Street (PA 837) as detours until the Fort Pitt Tunnel opened. The Parkway East ended in Churchill, with eastbound traffic continuing ahead on the William Penn Highway, until the $11,124,763 extension east to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville opened October 27, 1962.[4] The final piece of Parkway West (the part which has never had an Interstate route number), from PA 60 west to the US 22/US 30 split at Imperial, opened in 1964.[14][15] Early plans for that section would have instead taken it from PA 60 where it splits with PA 60 Bus. northwest to US 30 near Campmeeting Road at Clinton.[16]

The next section that opened was in 1968 from the present-day exit 2 with PA 18 to where PA 18 intersects with the present-day PA 760 just north of I-80 and the western terminus of I-376.[17][18]

Work began on the Beaver County sections of I-376 (in between Chippewa Township and the Airport Parkway) in 1971 and would finish by 1976.[17][19] The following year, the northern section finished construction, which would leave a gap between New Castle and Chippewa Township for the next 15 years. Until the middle section was completed, in order to continue on the highway, travelers had to use US 422PA 168PA 18PA 251, and PA 51 before returning to the highway. Until that section opened, the present-day exit 12A marked the southern terminus of the northern section of PA 60 as an “END 60” sign was located near the exit.

In the early to mid-1980s the entire section from downtown to Monroeville was refurbished.[20]

I-376 at the former terminus with I-279 in Pittsburgh

The next leg of the route opened to PA 108 in 1991 and to PA 51 in Chippewa on November 30, 1992 as the 16.5 mile $260 million “missing link” between two sections of PA 60, when that route’s designation was on the highway.[21] The aforementioned “END 60” sign was removed when the first leg of the middle section opened in 1991, and a “No re-entry this exit” sign has sat on the site since, due to exit 12A being an indirect connection to US 422 westbound without a direct re-entry ramp.

The Southern Expressway, a southern bypass of Pittsburgh International Airport, opened on September 9, 1992 and is the newest portion of I-376.[22][23]

The PTC retrofitted E-ZPass lanes on the tolled section of I-376 in 2006 at both the two mainline toll plazas as well as the exits that collect tolls.[24]

A bridge crossing I-376 from Oakland to Greenfield, the Greenfield Bridge, gained some national notoriety on an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver concerning infrastructure. The state could not immediately afford to replace the crumbling bridge, so instead a cover was built under the bridge to protect the vehicles on I-376. The Greenfield Bridge was finally demolished in December 2015, and a replacement was built over the following two years, officially opening on October 14, 2017.[25]

Route designations prior to 2009[edit]

The western end of I-376 at I-279 in Pittsburgh in 2003

From PA 60 to I-376’s eastern terminus, I-376 has had the US 22 and US 30 designations for its entire history (US 30 exiting at Wilkinsburg). Until 1961, it also carried the PA 80 designation until that route was decommissioned due to Pennsylvania needing the designation for I-80 to the north. In 1956, PA 60 was commissioned to have the Airport Parkway and the former alignment of US 22 and US 30 to Pittsburgh’s West End.

From 1959 to 1964, I-70 occupied the highway east of PA 50 in Carnegie.[18] When I-70 moved to its current alignment (replacing I-70S) in 1964, the route received the Interstate 76 designation into Pittsburgh.[26] West of Pittsburgh, from 1963 to 1970, I-79 occupied the route. In West Middlesex, the route would receive the PA 18 designation while the former alignment would receive a business route designation as PA 18 Business, since it served as a bypass of West Middlesex.[27]

In 1970, I-79 swapped positions with I-279, necessitating that I-76 be extended to I-79. With commencement on the Beaver Valley Expressway in 1971, PA 60 was extended to its future northern terminus in Chippewa. Finally, on October 2, 1972, after I-76 west of Monroeville moved to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and replaced I-80S, the western part of the highway took the I-279 designation while the section from Pittsburgh east to Monroeville would become the first section with the I-376 designation.[1] When I-376 was extended onto the Parkway West in 2009, I-279 was truncated to its current southern terminus at the former western terminus of I-376.[28]

PA 18 Business was decommissioned in 1978 when PA 18 returned to its former alignment (where it has remained to this day) and PA 60 was extended all the way to Hermitage.[29][30]

PA Toll 60
Location Chippewa Township – New Castle
Existed 1991–2009

On November 30, 1992 the 16.2 mile gap in Beaver County was completed with a toll highway.[31]

When the Beaver Valley Expressway started opening in 1991, it would receive the “PA Toll 60” designation, because it was operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. With the opening of the Southern Expressway in 1992, PA 60 moved to that highway, while the Airport Parkway received the PA 60 Business designation. PA 60 was eventually extended to Sharon in 1997, ending at US 62 Business.[32]

2009 extensions

Signs reading “Future I-376 Corridor” were posted along PA 60 from late April 2006 until 2010. This one was located on the New Castle Bypass.

As part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users in 2005, the U.S. Congress had designated an expansion of I-376 past I-79 and along present day US 22/US 30 and PA 60 through the Pittsburgh International Airport and north to I-80 near Sharon, Pennsylvania. This was done because the airport was one of the few major airports in the United States without direct access to an Interstate highway.[3]

This routing required some major infrastructure work on US 22 west of Downtown Pittsburgh (particularly at the US 22/US 30 cloverleaf in Robinson Township) and safety improvements to PA 60; though both were limited access freeways before the extension, they were not up to Interstate Highway standards in all areas. The improvements to both the US 22/US 30 cloverleaf in Robinson Township and the Lawrence County leg of the route, as well as replacing all of the signs with the I-376 shield, were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[33]

The designation of I-279 from Downtown west through the Fort Pitt Tunnel to I-79 was officially dropped and replaced by that of I-376 on June 10, 2009.[28][34] I-279 still exists between I-376 in the Golden Triangle and I-79 in Franklin Park. On November 6, 2009, officials announced the initial transition was complete.[33]

On January 21, 2010, the remainder of the route except for the Beaver Valley Expressway started receiving the I-376 signs. The stretch of PA 60 from I-80 in Shenango Township of Mercer County north past PA 18 (where the freeway terminates and the highway reverts to being a two lane arterial) to the former northern terminus of PA 60 in Sharon became PA 760.[35]

A “Toll I-376” trailblazer on the tolled section of I-376

On August 1, 2010, signage along Turnpike 60 was officially changed to I-376,[36] and unlike other tolled highways with Interstate designation it is not grandfathered from Interstate standards. Having been built in the early 1990s, this section was already up to Interstate standards. This section of I-376 is signed as “Toll I-376”, with a black-on-yellow “Toll” sign above the I-376 trailblazer. This makes I-376 one of the first tolled Interstates with such a marker, which was a new addition to the 2009 edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.[37]

Despite PennDOT giving motorists over four years of advance notice on the I-376 extension, some local drivers were confused after the transition was complete, thinking that the I-376 extension was going to be an all-new highway instead of a renaming of PA 60.[5]

As part of the ongoing upgrades to I-376 to bring the legacy portion of the former PA 60 up to Interstate standards, the interchange with PA 318 at exit 1C was upgraded to a full service interchange in October 2014. Previously, the exit only had a westbound entrance and eastbound exit, mainly to serve as access to I-80 to West Middlesex residents. It marked the third partial interchange on the legacy PA 60/Parkway West to be upgraded to a full-service interchange in a decade, after I-79 at exit 64A and access to US 30 at exit 52 were upgraded from a partial to full-service interchanges.[38]

Exit list

Before it was designated I-376, the Parkway East in Pittsburgh carried the I-76 designation. These PennDOT workers are swapping out the old 76 shields for 376 shields in 1972.


Penn-Lincoln Parkway Construction


George L. Bower




Caption on the back of the photograph reads, “Boulevard of the Allies relocation work at Brady Street is part of the larger Penn-Lincoln Parkway project. The downtown section of the Parkway will be built on the lower left, linking the eastern and western sections, which are now in use.” In September 1956, barriers were lifted to allow traffic to use the outbound lanes of the Parkway between the Boulevard of the Allies and Bates Street. The entire 27-mile Penn-Lincoln Parkway (Interstate 376), constructed under the Federal Highway Act of 1956, would connect Pittsburgh with the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the east and the Greater Pittsburgh Airport to the west.


Penn-Lincoln Parkway.
Parkway East.
Boulevard of the Allies (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Highway construction–Pennsylvania–Pittsburgh.


Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center


Allegheny Conference on Community Development Photographs

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tunnel designed up to 40,000 vehicles a day.  Opened June 1953

Interstate 376 originally ran along just the Penn-Lincoln Parkway East through Pittsburgh to the eastern suburbs of Edgewood, Forest Hills and Churchill. The freeway follows the Monongahela River initially, then turns away from the river via the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. Often referred to as the Parkway East, the parkway predated the Interstate system as U.S. 22/30 to connect Pittsburgh with the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline at Monroeville.

Construction of Interstate 376 began in 1946 on the Penn-Lincoln East Parkway, followed by work commencing on the Squirrel Hill Tunnel in 1948. Including the tunnel, the first section opened to traffic in June 1953. Work continued until 1959 on the parkway. Additional work, linking the parkway with the Pennsylvania Turnpike, was underway between 1961 and October 1962.2

U.S. 22 – The William Penn Highway

When the Joint Board on Interstate Highways issued its report in October 1925, the U.S. numbered highway system included U.S. 22:

From Elizabeth, New Jersey, Phillipsburg, Reading, Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Clarks Ferry, Bellefonte, Dubois, New Castle, Youngstown, Ohio, Cleveland.

The William Penn Highway

A portion of this road east of Clarks Ferry coincided with the William Penn Highway. The William Penn Highway Association of Pennsylvania had been organized on March 27, 1916, when 650 road boosters from along the proposed route met in an auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The goal was a road paralleling the Pennsylvania Railroad and an alternative to the Lincoln Highway between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The association also adopted a New York Extension (via Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton in Pennsylvania, and Phillipsburg, Hackettstown, Morristown, Newark, and Jersey City in New Jersey) and a Baltimore-Washington Extension (departing the main route at Harrisburg). As a November 1916 brochure explained, the association’s aim was “the permanentization of an arterial road system in Pennsylvania generally, and the William Penn Highway in particular.”

The William Penn Highway also served as the Pennsylvania branch of the Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean (PPOO) Highway. The PPOO Highway had been organized on March 18, 1914, at a meeting in St. Joseph, Missouri, to promote improvement and use of a road from New York City to San Francisco. Initially, the eastern PPOO Highway followed the National Old Trails Road through Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Cumberland, Wheeling, Columbus, Dayton, and Indianapolis. However, in February 1916, the PPOO Highway Association decided to adopt an independent alignment east of Indianapolis, Indiana. The March 1916 issue of The Road-Maker described the activities:

Through adoption of an independent alignment from Indianapolis east to the Atlantic Ocean, the Pike’s Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway Association has forged another link in its great transcontinental highway. At a conference of its committee on eastern extension, held at Indianapolis on February 15th, decision was reached in favor of a route extending from Indianapolis through Richmond, Indiana; Eaton, Dayton, Springfield and Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Blairsville, Johnstown, Altoona, Huntington, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Reading, Pottstown to Philadelphia; with a connecting branch from Harrisburg to Washington, D.C., and another from Reading, Pa., to New York City. The selection of this route is subject to early organization and affiliation of state divisions in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and active steps have already been taken looking to meetings for this purpose during the month of March . . . .

In Pennsylvania the highway is being organized as the “William Penn Highway,” and arrangements are under way for a meeting to be held at Harrisburg in March to complete organization.

(See for additional information on the PPOO Highway.)

Pennsylvania Rejects the Plan

The Joint Board’s recommendations were turned over to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) for approval. A year later, after many changes at the request of State highway officials, AASHO approved the numbering plan on November 11, 1926. As near as can be determined, the approved routing of U.S. 22 in Pennsylvania was:

From Easton via Allentown, Reading, Harrisburg, Duncannon, Lewistown, Water Street, Hollidaysburg, Ebensburg, Blairsville, Pittsburgh, and Imperial to the Pennsylvania-West Virginia State line.

(There will be no change on this route until the completion of the new road section on Route No. 31 and 275, between Millerstown and Amity Hall. When this road is improved the William Penn Highway will be routed that way.)

The routing closely followed the William Penn Highway. The list included Pennsylvania routings for six branches of U.S. 22: 122, 222, 322, 422, 522, and 622.

Prior to November 11, 1926, AASHO had added several routes to the U.S. numbered system at the request of William H. Connell, Pennsylvania’s Engineering Executive and Deputy Secretary of Highways. Connections with Ohio and West Virginia were modified. Adjustments were made in some routes (Meadville via Linesville to Ohio was changed to Meadville via Hartstown, Jamestown, and Simons to Ohio) and others added (Wyalusing to New Milford and Kingsley to Carbondale).

Despite this involvement, Pennsylvania objected soon after AASHO approved the U.S. numbered highway plan. In a letter on January 28, 1927, Connell informed John N. Mackall, Chairman of the Maryland State Roads Commission, that he harbored concerns about the U.S. numbering plan for the State. Pennsylvania’s letter is not available, but Mr. Mackall’s February 12 characterized Connell’s comments as surprising in view of his supportive comments in Detroit during AASHO’s annual meeting in December 1925. During the session, E. W. James, Chief of Design of the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) and Secretary of the Joint Board on Interstate Highways, had presented the Joint Board’s report to AASHO for action:

I had understood from what you said at Detroit that if a system satisfactory to you could be worked out by the Bureau that you would [support it], and I note that the Bureau has done everything that we wanted and assume everything you wanted. I know that they have a very genuine desire to cooperate. We have adopted the Federal numbers and are numbering our State roads in conjunction with the Federal numbers, and I would like, if possible, to have had them coordinated with your number system, but since you are not adopting the Federal system, there seems no possibility of this. The situation is unfortunate, but I assume does not seriously make any difference one way or the other.

Mackall’s letter suggests that State line connections were Pennsylvania’s concern. As Mackall knew, State line connections had been resolved with difficulty. James, in his remarks in Detroit, had cited State line disputes involving Pennsylvania as examples of how the Joint Board had used “intelligent and thoughtful handing at every turn” to resolve such disputes:

To support this point, there may be mentioned the fact that a difference of opinion regarding a Maryland-Pennsylvania connection was settled by reference to definite traffic data available from three sources. Another adjustment was made between Maryland and Delaware on the basis of the changing demand of seasonal traffic conditions. A connection between Philadelphia and Trenton was made on the basis of the future type of traffic and definite purpose of the State Highway Department of the Keystone State to throw truck traffic to one road and light traffic to the other.

But in early 1927, Pennsylvania’s concerns did not involve State line connections. On February 15, Connell wrote to Chief Thomas H. MacDonald of the BPR to forward copies of the Maryland-Pennsylvania correspondence and ask for a meeting with James “to see whether something cannot be done to arrange for one Federal number for our principal through routes. For example, the Susquehanna Trail has four numbers.” Defensively, Connell added, “I have been too busy with other things to take this matter up, up to the present time.”

Pennsylvania’s Named Highways

Connell’s concern, therefore, related to routes the State had designated by name. In 1923, a State law had been enacted that gave the Secretary of Highways the sole authority to name or number Pennsylvania’s roads. The idea was to prevent controversies among rival communities on the routing of named highways that previously had been designated by private trail associations.

The initial naming of highways was announced on April 26, 1924. A press release explained:

Under the ruling of the Highway department the entire length of a trans-state road is comprehended under one name. It is the plan of the Department that where necessary secondary names may be given to sections of this route which will carry a local identification, and tend to emphasize both a local and general interest in the section.

The Department also announced that within a short time these trans-Pennsylvania thoroughfares, consisting of a large number of routes as numbered under the Sproul highway plan, will be combined under one number which will apply to the particular road for its entire length across the state. East-west routes will be given numbers beginning with odd digits; north-south roads numbers beginning with even digits.

The number 1, for example, would be applied to the Lincoln Highway.

The named routes designated at this time were the Lincoln Highway, William Penn Highway, Lackawanna Trail, Susquehanna Trail, Roosevelt Highway, Lakes-to-Sea Highway, National Pike, Baltimore Pike, and the Chicago-Buffalo Highway. The news release described the William Penn Highway, which would become Route 3, as:

From Easton through Allentown, Reading, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Liverpool, Lewistown, Reedsville, Mill Creek, Huntingdon, Water Street, Hollidaysburg, Cresson, Ebensburg and Blairsville to Pittsburgh.

The release also described the route cited in Connell’s letter, the Susquehanna Trail. It was part of a route from Buffalo, New York, to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. In Pennsylvania, it ran from the Maryland State line near Shrewsbury through York, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Clarks Ferry, Selinsgrove, Sunbury, Muncy, Williamsport, Mansfield, and Lawrence to the New York State line. It would be designated Pennsylvania Route 4.

Adjusting Pennsylvania’s System

For E. W. James and the Joint Board, one of the guiding principles had been that the routing of named highways would not be honored, in part because of the desire to end the named trail associations. Another factor was that associations often had routed the trails through towns that were willing to pay dues, rather than over the best or most direct route.

By contrast, Pennsylvania (which had not been one of the States represented on the Joint Board) wanted to retain a single number for each of its officially designated named trails. The records in AASHO’s file do not indicate whether Pennsylvania had been concerned about the numbers applied to its highways prior to November 11, 1926, or why Connell became concerned in 1927. Subsequent events suggest he had been more concerned about the routes included in the plan rather than the numbers assigned to them. A logical assumption would be that the State’s trail associations brought the numbers to his attention.

James was out of town at the time of Connell’s letter to MacDonald and would not be available for a meeting with Pennsylvania’s highway officials until he returned in early March. The issue, therefore, dragged on for a couple of weeks.

On February 16, Connell replied to Mackall to clarify the issues:

I don’t know where you got the impression we were not going to use the federal numbers in lieu of the state numbers, because I have always stated that we would continue the state numbers and use the federal numbers in addition to the state numbers, and that is what we intend to do after we get some of the numbers straightened out on a few of our very important through routes.

We have three or four federal numbers on such routes as the Susquehanna Trail.

Up to the present time, however, we have not taken the matter up with Washington. When we do, if there are any changes in the federal numbers, I will let you know.

Even though we are not going to dispense with the state numbers, the federal numbers will be shown on our routes and if you are showing the federal numbers on your routes the through traffic will have the federal route numbers.

The following day, AASHO’s Executive Secretary, W. C. Markham, wrote to each State highway department to request approval of the detailed listing of its U.S. highway network prior to publication of a national log in AASHO’s magazine, American Highways:

This is supposed to be a complete and correct description of these roads. It is sent to you in order that you may give it a careful checking as to errors and that you may add additional names of towns, making a fuller description of the roads, if you so desire . . . . We want this description to be complete in every respect so that State governments, map makers, automobile clubs, or any other organizations which may wish to use them will have from the State Highway Departments something complete and definite.

Markham indicated that unless a response had been received by March 10, AASHO would “take it for granted that it is complete and correct.”

Markham was surprised to receive a February 25 letter from Connell declining to approve Pennsylvania’s U.S. numbered highways, but indicating he hoped to provide a decision by March 10. On March 11, he informed Markham by telegram that the U.S. highway descriptions for Pennsylvania were disapproved.

The next day, Markham replied in a one-and-a-half page letter to Connell’s telegram. The letter reflected Markham’s surprise and frustration:

With the assistance of three other persons I have spent over a month in preparing a written description of these routes. There has been a great demand for a proper description of these routes and it is going to make it positively necessary that the next issue of “American Highways” contain this description. I do not with [sic] to have the description show that there are no numbers passing through Pennsylvania.

Rather than leave Pennsylvania out, he said he was considering abbreviated descriptions, such as:

No. 1 From Maine to Florida

If it came to that, he would include a statement “that additional roads in Pennsylvania have been added, but full description of numbers not yet approved.” He pointed out that the numbers could be resolved when AASHO’s Executive Committee met in Chicago on May 28. As for now, he had to put the descriptions “in the hands of the printer by next Tuesday, as I am already some days behind in getting out this work.”

While writing his letter, Markham was not aware that James had met on March 11 and 12 in Harrisburg with Connell and W. A. Van Duzer, Deputy Engineering Executive for the Pennsylvania Department of Highways, to work out the numbering problems. During the meeting, James, Van Duzer, and Connell used a map of Pennsylvania’s Federal-aid highway system on which the U.S. numbers had been printed. The map, which was marked to show the agreed changes, is still in AASHO’s files.

A handwritten note by James on the map explained:

The numbers in blue were adjusted with Mr. Van Duzer and were satisfactory to Mr. Connell-3-11 and 12, 1927. Mr. Connell stipulated only that certain routes in Pa. be continuous. The identity of numbers did not especially interest him.

The markings indicate that U.S. 22 through Pennsylvania was not changed, although some of its branches were altered.

Upon learning of the meetings, Markham immediately sent a telegram to Connell on March 14:

Disregard my letter. Will use road descriptions agreed on by you and James Saturday.

Van Duzer confirmed the agreements in a March 21 letter to Markham.

On March 24, James forwarded a complete map to Connell reflecting the adjustments made on March 11 and 12. In preparing the map, James had to make “one or two modifications which in no way affect the continuity of route, as you desire, but which were found to be necessary to avoid duplication of numbers in use elsewhere.” The changes involved three-digit branch routes. Connell accepted the adjustments by letter to James on March 30.

More Pennsylvania Problems

Accordingly, the April 1927 issue of American Highways contained the log of U.S. highways, including U.S. 22 (spelling here and in later logs as in the original):

New Jersey Beginning at Elizabeth via Somerville, Whitehouse, to the New Jersey-Pennsylvania State line at Phillipsburg.
Pennsylvania Beginning at the New Jersey-Pennsylvania State line at Easton via Allentown, Kutztown, Reading, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Duncannon, Millerstown, Mifflinetown, Lewistown, Huntingdon, Water Street, Hollidaysburg, Ebensburg, Blairsville, Pittsburgh, Imperial to the Pennsylvania-West Virginia State line west of Paris.
West Virginia Beginning at the Pennsylvania-West Virginia State line east of Wellsburg to the West Virginia-Ohio State line opposite Steubenville.
Ohio Beginning at the Ohio-West Virginia State line at Steubenville via Cadiz to Cambridge.

The log, which was reprinted in pamphlet form, listed U.S. 22 as 490 miles long.

By May, Pennsylvania was expressing continued dissatisfaction with the numbering plan, in this case involving U.S. 19. Secretary of Highways James L. Stuart advised Markham that Pennsylvania “would not care to purchase” additional copies of the U.S. numbering pamphlet until U.S. 19 was adjusted. Markham, as late as May 31, had still not received the desired adjustment, but offered to include it in a reprint of the pamphlet.

Stuart finally provided the desired changes in U.S. 19, as well as minor corrections to the State’s listings, on June 7. The desired U.S. 19 adjustment involved taking advantage of a shorter road between Pittsburgh and Erie (via Edinboro, Meadville, Mercer, Portersville, Zelienople, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Wayneburg). The proposed routing followed the Perry Highway, conceived in 1917 by good roads advocates in Pittsburgh to honor Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. During the War of 1812, Commodore Perry had left Pittsburgh in April 1813 for a journey to Lake Erie, where he commanded the American fleet during its surprising victory against a British fleet on September 10, 1813.

Stuart also asked for a change involving the Benjamin Franklin Highway, which had been conceived in Findlay, Ohio, in 1926 as a way of linking State highways from Philadelphia to Omaha, Nebraska:

It is also desired that that the Benjamin Franklin Highway, through Philadelphia, Norristown, Reading, Lebanon, Harrisburg, Clarks Ferry, Mifflintown, Lewistown, Huntingdon, Hollidaysburg, Ebensburg, Indiana, Butler and New Castle, be recognized by changing the U.S. number between Philadelphia and Reading, 120 to 422.

At the time, U.S. 120 was a 315-mile route from Philadelphia via Reading, Pottsville, Sunbury, Muncy, Williamsport, Lock Haven, Emporium to Ridgeway. During the March 1927 meeting with James, Pennsylvania had agreed to the approved routing of U.S. 422 from Ebensburg via Indiana, Kittanning, Butler, and New Castle, to the Ohio State line (thence to Cleveland, Ohio).

The minor corrections included a slight change in the description of U.S. 22:

There is an error in the spelling of the name “Mifflintown.” There should be no “e” between the “n” and the “t.” Substitute “Clarks Ferry” for “Duncannon” and “North Star” for “Imperial.”

Stuart’s proposed changes were forwarded to James, who objected on June 10 to the revision of U.S. 19 because it “involves a complete relocation of this route north of Pittsburgh, and does not follow in the main the federal aid highway system.” He also objected to other changes, including the revision involving the Benjamin Franklin Highway:

Changing the number of Route 120 to 422 involves changing the number of Route 22 from Reading through Harrisburg, Clark’s Ferry, Mifflintown, Lewistown, Huntingdon, Hollidaysburg to Ebensburg. Route 422 extends from Ebensburg through Indiana, Kittaning and Butler to the Ohio Line . . . . Route 22 is a through line from Elizabeth through Philipsburgh and Reading to the West Virginia-Pennsylvania line near Paris, and it also continues in Ohio to a junction with Route 40. If the proposed change is made, it will leave Route 22 disconnected between Ebensburg and Reading and necessitate the use of three digit numbers in the two ends. [Spelling as in the original.]

James, in short, objected to having two disconnected stretches of U.S. 422, one in the east (Philadelphia to Reading) and one in the west (Ebensburg to the Ohio line). In his view, “422” would have to replace “22” between Reading and Ebensburg, leaving the eastern and western ends of U.S. 22 as branches requiring three digits.

On June 14, Markham informed Stuart that many of the requested changes, including the rerouting of U.S. 19, would be made in the pamphlet, but others were inconsistent with the numbering policy. In the case of the Ben Franklin Highway, Markham explained:

You will notice in response to the third paragraph of your letter, requesting that No. 120 from Philadelphia to Reading be changed to No. 422; that we have changed No. 120 to read, “Beginning at Reading via Pottsville, Sunbury, Muncy, Williamsport, Lock Heaven, Emporium to Ridgway”, and No. 422 to read, “Beginning at Philadelphia via Norristown to Reading, and beginning again at Ebensburg via Indian Kittanning, Butler, New Castle to the Pennsylvania-Ohio State line at New Bedford”. This makes a gap in No. 422 from Reading to Ebensburg, which distance is covered by U.S. No. 22 – an interstate route. Because of the policy adopted by the Executive Committee at a recent meeting in Chicago, copy of which I am herewith enclosing, we are unable to change this number in order to make No. 422 a continuous route. Under the circumstance, do you still wish the section of No. 120 from Philadelphia to Reading changed to No. 422?

By letter and telegram on June 16, Stuart reaffirmed his wish to change U.S. 120 from Philadelphia to Reading to U.S. 422. He added, “In fact the remarks of the second paragraph of your letter correspondence exactly with our wishes.” AASHO included the routing for U.S. 422 in the second U.S. numbered highway log, published in 1929 (the figure following each city is the distance to the next city):

Total Mileage, 251

Pennsylvania Beginning at Philadelphia 20, Norristown 37, Reading. Beginning again at Ebensburg 30, Indiana 28, Kittanning 21, Butler 28, New Castle 12, New Bedford 8.
Ohio Youngstown 13, Warren 35, Chagrin Falls 19, Cleveland.

The Moving Highway

On November 8, 1930, Mr. Fred L. Shankweiler, president of the backing organization for the William Penn Highway, wrote to Markham:

May I request that, at your meeting in Pittsburgh on November 17, you give consideration of the proposal for the extension of U.S. Route 22 from Cambridge, Ohio to Cincinnati, Ohio, by way of Lancaster and Washington Court House.

We also hope that you will use your influence to see to it that the Wm. Penn Highway, as it now runs from Harrisburg to Allentown, be not changed. In other words, we seriously hope that you will not concur with the recommendations of some highway officials that the present Route 43 be designated as the Wm. Penn Highway. Inasmuch as the prevailing public now knows the Wm. Penn Highway and also for the benefit of the towns located along the present Wm. Penn Highway, it is very important that this remain as it is as present.

Markham replied on November 10 that highway numbering would not come up during the annual meeting in Pittsburgh. He referred Shankweiler to Pennsylvania highway officials because AASHO did not concern itself with the naming of highways.

Shankweiler received no comfort from the State. On June 3, 1931, Chief Engineer Samuel Eckels informed Markham of several desired changes in Pennsylvania’s U.S. numbered highways. One of the changes involved U.S. 22:

I am calling your particular attention to Route 22 between Harrisburg and Allentown, familiarly known in the State of Pennsylvania as the William Penn Highway. We have constructed a new route between Allentown and Harrisburg which is probably the highest speed road in our entire State and is used by practically all through traffic over the William Penn Highway between Harrisburg and Allentown.

Eckels was awaiting approval from Secretary of Highways S. S. Lewis, but approval was expected “and if included in our recommendation be assured that this is the one route in which we are most vitally interested.” Lewis approved the change and joined Eckels in a letter to Markham on June 4 with specific changes affecting U.S. 22, U.S. 222, U.S. 422, and other routes unrelated to U.S. 22.

Recent road improvements in Pennsylvania make desirable certain changes in the designations of some of the United States Highways in this State in order to facilitate traffic.

Following is a list of the routes showing the desired changes:

United States Highway 22. The proposed relocation of 22 provides a short cut from Harrisburg to Allentown. The revised description for the portion in Pennsylvania is as follows:

United States Highway 22

Pennsylvania – Easton 16, Allentown 27, Hamburg 56, Harrisburg 14, Clarks Ferry 16, Millerstown 14, Mifflintown 1, Lewistown 22, Mount Union 7, Mill Creek 6, Huntingdon 11, Water Street 17, Hollidaysburg 22, Ebensburg 32, Blairsville 39, Pittsburgh 34, Paris 5.

United States Highway 222

The proposed extension of 222 occasioned by relocation of United States Highway 22, as described above, from Reading to Allentown, changes the description of 222 in Pennsylvania to:

Beginning at Allentown 19, Kutztown 18, Reading 18, Ephrata 15, Lancaster 15, Quarryville 17, to an intersection with United States Highway No. 1 at Conowingo.

United States Highway 422. There is a proposed change west of Ebensburg which does not affect the description. It is also proposed to extend the highway from Reading to Harrisburg on account of previously described relocation of United States Highway 22.

The revised description would be as follows:

Beginning at Philadelphia 20, Norristown 37, Reading 26, Lebanon 26, Harrisburg. Beginning again at Ebensburg 30, Indiana 28, Kittanning 21, Butler 28, New Castle 12, New Bedford 8.

On June 8, 1931, AASHO’s Executive Committee approved the changes in Pennsylvania that altered the routing of U.S. 22:

U.S. 22, Pennsylvania U.S. 22 is relocated in Pennsylvania to be described as follows: Easton, Allentown, Hamburg, Harrisburg, Clarks Ferry, Millerstown, Mifflintown, Lewistown, Mt. Union, Mill Creek, Huntingdon, Waterstreet, Hollidaysburg, Ebensburg, Blairsville, Pittsburgh, to Parris.
U.S. 222, Pennsylvania U.S. 222 is changed in Pennsylvania to read as follows: Allentown, Kutztown, Reading, Ephrata, Lancaster, Quarryville to an intersection with U.S. No. 1 at Conowingo.
U.S. 422, Pennsylvania This route is revised to read as follows: Philadelphia, Norristown, Reading, Lebanon, Harrisburg. Beginning again at Ebensburg, Indiana, Kittanning, Butler, New Castle, New Bedford.

Although Shankweiler’s requests on behalf of the William Penn Highway were not granted in Pennsylvania, at least one of its requests was approved. The route was also altered in Ohio:

U.S. 22, Ohio U.S., 22 is extended from Cambridge to Cincinnati and the route is described as follows: Cambridge, via Zanesville, Somerset, Lancaster, Circleville, Washington Court House Wilmington, Morrow, Montgomery to Cincinnati.

The new route description of the 660-mile U.S. 22 was printed in the 1932 log:

Total Mileage, 660

New Jersey Beginning at Elizabeth 25, Somerville 9, Whitehouse 24, Phillipsburg 1.
Pennsylvania Easton 16, Allentown 30, Hamburg 57, Harrisburg 15, Clarks Ferry 18, Millerstown 14, Mifflintown 12, Lewistown 22, Mt. Union 7, Mill Creek 6, Huntingdon 10, Water Street 19, Hollidaysburg 23, Ebensburgh 30, Blairsville 35, Pittsburgh 32, Paris 4.
West Virginia Wierton 6.
Ohio Steubenville 26, Cadiz 41, Cambridge 24, Zanesville 38, Lancaster 22, Circleville 30, Washington Court House 21, Wilmington 43, Cincinnati.

The Pennsylvania Department of Highways, in keeping with its authority to name highways, shifted the designation “William Penn Highway” to the new routing of U.S. 22.

Ben Franklin Highway

The Ben Franklin Highway Association was still trying to enhance the credibility of its route by securing U.S. numbers for segments presently carried on State routes. On November 10, 1932, Eckels informed Markham that Pennsylvania “will not object” to a proposal by the Ohio State Highway Department to assign a U.S. number to the Ben Franklin Highway from New Castle, Pennsylvania, to Huntington, Indiana.

On June 8, 1933, Eckels wrote again to Markham on this matter, but gave the letter to John H. Williamson of Findlay, Ohio, to present in person. “We have had considerable correspondence with the various states relative to the extension of U.S. Route 422 from the Pennsylvania State line through Ohio to Huntington, Indiana. We have previously indicated our interest in the extension of this route and look with a great deal of interest to the time when it will be extended westward.”

After meeting with Findlay, Markham responded to Eckels on June 9 to express puzzlement about the change. “Do you mean by this that you will abandon present U.S. 422 from New Castle to Cleveland?” The Executive Committee also questioned the proposal because the route closely paralleled U.S. 30 in Ohio, and was over 40 miles longer than U.S. 30 between Philadelphia and Van Wert, Ohio. Markham, therefore, planned to contact Ohio officials to see if they still desired to have the road numbered.

Eckels clarified the situation on June 13. He informed Markham that Pennsylvania favored extending the Benjamin Franklin Highway west, but did not favor abandoning U.S. 422 from New Castle to Cleveland. He added:

Mr. Williamson confirms what I have already heard a great many times and which up to the present time I had passed off without any comment, that is that you seriously object to the number of United State highways in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He further states that you contend that the Pennsylvania and Ohio Highway Departments have made more requests for United States routes than the other states. I regret very much if these requests have caused you too much work and annoyance.

AASHO’s files do not contain a response by Markham regarding whether he was annoyed by the requests from Ohio and Pennsylvania. However, on June 22, 1933, he informed Secretary Lewis and officials in Ohio and Indiana that the Executive Committee had approved U.S. designation for the Ben Franklin Highway. The extension was assigned U.S. 224 based on its intersection with U.S. 24 at Huntington, Indiana.

Whatever Markham’s attitude, it did not discourage Pennsylvania. Even with a new Secretary and Chief Engineer in place following a change in Governor, the State continued to pepper AASHO with numbering changes and requests for new designations.

U.S. 22 Permutations

Pennsylvania, via Chief Engineer H. H. Temple, contacted Markham on June 19, 1936, to request a change involving U.S. 22:

As a result of a large increase of traffic in recent years on U.S. Route 22 and also on north and south U.S. Route 322 and 522, a situation has developed between Lewistown via Reedsville and Mill Creek which could be greatly relieved by the assigning of Alternate Route 22 to that section. This is particularly desirable for the convenience of traffic using both routes between the limits indicated, and as a safety factor in reducing the volume of traffic on U.S. Route 22.

We therefore request the approval by the Executive Committee of the American Association of State Highway Officials for the designation of Alternate Route 22 as follows:

Beginning at Lewistown 6, Reedsville 8, Belleville 17, Mill Creek.

Markham wrote on July 20, 1937, to inform Secretary of Highways Warren Van Dyke that the Executive Committee had rejected the change because alternate routing is no longer established, ” but the Committee suggests that they will be pleased to approve a change in U.S. 22 via Lewistown, Reedsville to Millcreek, eliminating present U.S. 22 between Lewistown and Mr. [sic] Union, since U.S. 522 is already from Lewistown to Mt. Union.

This change was not adopted.

On January 14, 1938, the Delaware River Joint Toll Commission opened the first of its seven toll bridges, the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge, across the Delaware River. The new four-lane structure resulted in a shift of U.S. 22 onto a new approach east of Easton. AASHO approved U.S. 22 Alternate along the former roadway of the U.S. highway from the river to Allentown. The 22-mile long route first appeared in the log published in 1942 (the first log since 1939):

New Jersey: Still Valley Circle 4, Phillipsburg 1 (New Bridge).
Pennsylvania: Easton 11, Bethlehem 6, Allentown.

The 1942 log of U.S. 22 described the 665-mile route, with a shift in the eastern terminus:

Total Mileage, 665

New Jersey: Beginning at a junction with U.S. Route 1 and 9 at Newark, 27, Somerville 9 (junction with U.S. Routes 202 and 206), White House 22, Still Valley 4, Phillipsburg 1 (Delaware River).
Pennsylvania: Easton 17, Allentown 27, Hamburg 55, Harrisburg 15, Clarks Ferry 18, Millerstown 15, Mifflintown 12, Lewistown 23, Mt. Union 7, Mill Creek 6, Huntingdon 10, Water Street 18, Hollidaysburg 19, Ebensburg 30, Blairsville 43, Pittsburgh 30, Paris 5.
West Virginia: Wierton 6.
Ohio: Steubenville 25, Cadiz 41, Cambridge 24, Zanesville 39, Lancaster 21, Circleville 27, Washington Court House 22, Wilmington 47, Cincinnati.

As had been the case throughout the history of U.S. 22, the designation would be shifted onto improved highways as they were completed. For example, during AASHO’s annual meeting on November 9-13, 1953, the following change was approved in Pennsylvania:

Relocation via Penn-Lincoln Parkway from junction of present US 22 in Wilkinsburg vicinity via Penn-Lincoln Parkway through Pittsburgh to a junction with present US 22 west of Pittsburgh near the community of Gayly. (Note: This location essentially double with US 30, the eastern end of the change being the only difference.)

During AASHO’s annual meeting on November 9-11, 1954, Pennsylvania’s requests involving U.S. 22 and U.S. 22 Alternate were approved:

Relocation of U.S. 22 between Easton and Allentown over recently completed new four-lane construction. The new route is somewhat to the north of the present route and will by-pass Bethlehem.

U.S. 22 Alternate crossing the river from New Jersey is re-routed to the north in Easton to a junction with the new location above as described, and the remaining portion of U.S. 22 between Easton and Bethlehem is to be abandoned.

In the years since then, U.S. 22 has continued to move onto improved alignments. The route is listed as 662 miles long in the most recent log (1989) published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The termini remain Newark, New Jersey, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

For information on how U.S. 22 affected the Blue Star Memorial Highways, see The Pennsylvania Highways website ( contains extensive information on the routing of U.S. 22 over the years.


Richard Weingroff
Office of Infrastructure
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Richard’s Bio

Updated: 06/27/2017


Reconstruction of urban expressways will be required in many metropolitan areas in the next few decades. A summary is presented of traveler responses to a reconstruction project on the Parkway East (I-376) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which normally serves more than 100,000 daily vehicle trips. Volume counts, vehicle occupancy counts, travel time measurements, and traveler surveys were made before and during the reconstruction. The major responses observed were in route choice and departure times. Large modal diversion did not occur despite ridesharing promotions and train, bus, and park-and-ride lot service improvements. However, a slight measured shift to shared-ride modes may have resulted in significant local benefits for Parkway East travelers during peak periods. Generally, the roadway system in the parkway corridor accommodated a major change in traffic patterns without substantially increased levels of congestion.

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Supplemental Notes:

Publication of this paper sponsored by Committee on Passenger Travel Demand Forecasting. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved


Hendrickson, Chris

Carrier, Roger E

Dubyak, Thomas J

Anderson, Robert B

Publication Date: 1982

Media Info

Media Type: Print

Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;

Pagination: pp 33-39

Monograph Title: Attitudes, perceptions, and constraints on travel


Transportation Research Record

Issue Number: 890

Publisher: Transportation Research Board

ISSN: 0361-1981

Subject/Index Terms

TRT Terms: CommutingMode choicePublic transitReconstructionRoad constructionTraffic diversionTraffic regulationsVanpools

Uncontrolled Terms: Traffic restrictions

Geographic Terms: Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)

Subject Areas: Highways; Law; Planning and Forecasting; Public Transportation; I10: Economics and Administration;

Filing Info

Accession Number: 00373377

Record Type: Publication

ISBN: 0309035023

Files: TRIS, TRB

Squirrel Hill Tunnels | It’s Pittsburgh & A Lot of Other Stuff | A Program by Rick Sebak

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Dan Cessna works for the dept that includes the tunnels, lives in Churchill

The PennDOT executive in charge of this part of the state  dist 11  travel to work in south hills

102,000 weekday 80,000 weekends

Squirrel hill tunnel 30 minutes


On youtube   Squirrel hill tunnels It’s Pittsburgh & a lot of other

Created Date: Jun 30 1983 12:00AM

History of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel

The Squirrel Hill Tunnel first opened to traffic in 1953. In 2013, the height of the ceiling of the tunnel was raised to accommodate larger tractor-trailers. WQED Pittsburgh produced a 30-minute television episode about the Squirrel Hill Tunnels for Rick Sebak’s “It’s Pittsburgh & A Lot of Other Stuff.”

Resources for Cyclists in the City of Pittsburgh


Rick Sebek for WQED

Squirrel Hill Tunnels | It’s Pittsburgh & A Lot of Other Stuff | A Program by Rick Sebak


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