The Parkway West from the Fort Pitt Tunnel to Interstate 79 has been redesignated as Interstate 376, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced today.
Its former designation as Interstate 279 now applies only to the Parkway North.
I-376 now stretches from the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville to the I-79 interchange in Robinson. Eventually, PennDOT will extend I-376 along Routes 22, 30 and 60 on the Airport Expressway and Beaver Valley Expressway to Mercer County, part of the $45 million plan to upgrade the corridor and designate it as an interstate highway in hopes of stimulating development.
PennDOT has begun erecting new signs along the renamed stretch of Parkway West and on approaching highways, spokesman Jim Struzzi said.
Signs indicating the I-376 conversion will be installed on the Parkway North, Parkway East, I-79, Parkway West and other routes that intersect with those roadways, he said. Work will begin this week on the Parkway West and progress to the Parkway North over the next few weeks. Shoulder closures will occur daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through late June in various locations as the signs are installed. Additional shoulder closures will occur during off-peak hours over the next few months. No lane closures are anticipated.
PennDOT hopes to reduce confusion and help motorists adjust to the new designation by leaving the I-279 signs in place alongside the new I-376 markers. Over the next few weeks, new exit numbers will be posted on the Parkway North and West. The old exit numbers will be posted alongside the new numbers for a short time to allow motorists time to adjust, Mr. Struzzi said.