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PennDOT launches the I-70 Belle Vernon Bridge to Bentleyville Reconstruction Project


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Engineering District 12-0 is pleased to announce the beginning of preliminary design to modernize an eight-mile section of Interstate-70, between Bentleyville (Exit 32) and the Belle Vernon Bridge in Washington County.

Preliminary engineering for the project began on September 16, 2020. PennDOT and its prime consultant, SPK Engineering, Inc. of Uniontown, will consider mainline improvements along I-70 in the project area that includes the Lover Interchange (Exit 36) and coordination with the Speers Interchange (Exit 39), which is under design as a separate project.

Notice of Intent to Enter (NOITE) Letters were sent to property owners along the corridor on October 23, 2020 notifying them that PennDOT staff, consultants or contractors, may need to enter their property in order to conduct surveys, engineering and environmental studies, soil exploration, or tests and/or soundings to gather information. This entry is authorized by the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code and may include the use of core drilling rigs and/or other equipment. Property owners will be notified personally, if possible, prior to any entry. This entry does not mean that the property has been selected for transportation improvements.

The project is one of 24 high-priority projects undertaken as part of a PennDOT District 12 initiative to modernize and reconstruct all of I-70 in Washington and Westmoreland counties. Separate projects to improve interchanges within the project area at Bentleyville (Exit 32), SR 481 (Exit 35), and Toll 43 (Exit 37) were already completed and no interchange improvements at these locations are included in this project’s scope. Preservation of the Belle Vernon Bridge over the Monongahela River was also completed; therefore, this project will also not include this bridge. The SR 2027, Section D10 structure carrying traffic over I-70 at the Speers Interchange (Exit 39) is presently anticipated to be constructed in 2022. In addition, a pavement preservation project SR 0070, Section 22R project was completed this fall from SR 481 (Exit 35) to approximately the Charleroi Interchange (Exit 40). The area of the pavement preservation project would not have lasted until the start of this reconstruction project; therefore, the purpose was to improve the ride quality and preserve the existing pavement structure until the start of full reconstruction.

PennDOT District 12 is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of I-70 from the West Virginia state line east to New Stanton, PA (Exit 57). Much of the corridor was originally designed and built more than 55 years ago; therefore, many improvements are either completed, underway or planned to meet modern traffic needs. To date, 15 improvement projects have been completed, four are being constructed, and five are in the design phase. PennDOT District 12’s I-70 Modernization Strategy will invest nearly $500 million to deliver the improvement projects that will include interchange improvements, bridge replacements or reconstructions, interstate widening, and miles of improved roadway and upgrades to the interstates intelligent transportation systems.

Please visit for additional information about this and other I-70 projects in PennDOT District 12.

For more information about the I-70 Belle Vernon Bridge to Bentleyville Reconstruction Project, contact PennDOT’s Project Manager, Sean P. Sepe, P.E. at telephone number 724.439.7322 or

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Ofsanik, 724-439-7135