Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission | Mon Fayette Toll Plaza

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) desired a new toll plaza for the electronic fares of the future as well as a new image for their mainline facilities – one that would be beautiful as well as safe, cost effective, and adaptable. This facility was the first on the PTC system that would integrate high-speed toll collection as well as manned and unmanned booths. The manned booths will disappear in the “all electronic” future. This exciting architectural design features an innovation for the Turnpike: a bridge linking both sides of the Plaza, instead of the usual service tunnel. As a result of this bridge, the Plaza has a greater visual presence than is normally expected while acting as a new portal to the Pittsburgh area for traffic on the new Mon Fayette Expressway. EZ Pass readers are concealed in the architecture. This design is intended to set a new direction for future Turnpike Facilities. Design included a pedestrian bridge for access across the high-speed lanes, site development, lighting, tollbooths, canopies, signage, and utility building and appurtenances.

Steel is the main element in the bridge and on the roof because of Pittsburgh’s history as the steel capital of the world. The facility was fully integrated with the highway system through many unique features that include:

• Visual security techniques, gull winged canopies curved in two directions and an arched truss provide an exciting architecture.

• A unique centrally located V-shaped pier supporting the “lookout” from which the all electronic plaza will be operated by one person.

• Features that allow the toll plaza to be adaptable to the state-of-the-art Electronic Tolls and Traffic Management (ETTM) System. At the mainline facility, EZ Pass capabilities allow patrons to bypass the toll collection machines while maintaining a high rate of speed.

This project won several national awards, including a Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects.

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