Phase: Preliminary Design
Location: Westmoreland County
Anticipated cost: $175-200 million

Project Schedule

Preliminary Design:
In Progress
Environmental Clearance:
Right-of-way Acquisition:
Final Design:

Project Overview

Design Underway

Preliminary Engineering for the project began on Sept. 16, 2020. The project will consider mainline improvements along Interstate 70 (I-70) in the project area that includes the Lover Interchange (Exit 36). The purpose of this reconstruction project is to:

  • Improve this section of I-70 in accordance with PennDOT District 12’s I-70 Modernization Plan that will provide a consistent typical section along the larger I-70 corridor, in Washington and Westmoreland counties.
  • Address system linkage, structure, and pavement needs.

This project will:

  • Reconstruct all pavement
  • Provide two 12-foot lanes in each direction
  • Widen the median to 10 feet
  • Include 12-foot shoulders on each side of the roadway
  • Provide a swale or buffer beside the shoulder

The Project Team reviewed several options for the interchange:

  1. Remove bridge and ramps
  2. Bridge replacement only
  3. Replace existing half diamond
  4. Build new full diamond interchange

The project team developed an Alternatives Analysis report which evaluated each of the alternatives related to safety, traffic, environmental, and right-of-way impacts, costs, and public involvement. The report was approved by PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on June 22, 2022 and recommended a new full diamond interchange at the Lover Interchange (Exit 36).

Key features of the project:

  • The Lover Interchange (Exit 36) will be reconstructed as a full access diamond interchange.
  • The bridge that carries Twin Bridges Road over I-70 at the interchange will be raised approximately 4.5 feet to provide adequate clearance over I-70 and have three lanes with one lane in each direction and a center turn lane.
    • The existing bridge was built in 1958 and is in poor condition with substandard vertical and horizontal clearance.
    • The existing bridge currently has a daily traffic volume of 2,000 vehicles and traffic data indicates that most drivers who use the bridge are accessing the interchange and I-70, and that most traffic comes from the south side of I-70.

Project Mapping

View project mapping to learn more details about this area.

PennDOT Contact

Name: Sean Sepe, P.E.
Organization: PennDOT Eng. District 12
Title: Project Manager
Phone: 724-439-7322

Design Contact

Name: Patrick B. Richter, P.E.
Organization: SPK Engineering
Title: Project Manager
Phone: 724-439-1600

Public Engagement

MAY 18, 2023

A public meeting was held to provide an opportunity for general public review and feedback on the recommended alternative.

The meeting was held at the Mon Valley Career and Technology Center. A total of 22 public officials (or other stakeholders) attended the Public Officials Briefing, and 81 people signed in for the Open House Public Plans Display. Common concerns included noise, property, safety, roadway, drainage, and pedestrian access.



In September 2021, PennDOT conducted a Stakeholders Meeting with representatives of various community segments to provide a project status update and solicit feedback on the CCA findings.

EARLY 2021

A Community Context Audit (CCA) was conducted in early 2021 to discuss the project with state, county, and local public officials, the PA Turnpike Commission, emergency service providers, business owners, schools, and other stakeholders to gather input about local interests in the project. The information gathered during these interviews is used by the Project Team to inform project development.