Pennsylvania Route 51

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PA Route 51 marker

PA Route 51
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT
Length: 89 mi[1] (143 km)
Existed: 1929 – present
Major junctions
South end:
US 40 Bus. in Uniontown
  US 119 near Uniontown
I-70 in Rostraver
Toll PA 43 near Clairton
US 19 in Pittsburgh
I-376 / US 22 / US 30 in Pittsburgh
I-79 near Coraopolis

I-376 in West Mayfield
North end: SR 14 northwest of Darlington
Counties: Allegheny, Fayette, Westmoreland, Beaver
Highway system
PA 50 PA 52

Pennsylvania Route 51 (PA 51) is a major state highway in Western Pennsylvania. It runs for 89 miles (143 km) from Uniontown to the Ohio state line near Darlington, where it connects with Ohio State Route 14. Route 51 is the termination point for Pennsylvania Route 43, Pennsylvania Route 48 and Pennsylvania Route 88. Century III Mall is located on this road in West Mifflin. The Route is a major connection from Uniontown and the rest of Fayette County to Pittsburgh.

The highway is four-lane highway south of Pittsburgh as it passes through Pittsburgh's South Hills, but narrows to a two-lane road through several boroughs along the Ohio River. It becomes four lanes again after passing Chippewa Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania in Beaver County and continues to the Ohio border. In the South Hills, Route 51 (Saw Mill Run Blvd.), along with US 19, is one of the major routes in and out of Pittsburgh, as it provides access to several bridges and tunnels. Route 51 is one of the highways that enters the West End Circle, an intersection in the West End.

Route description

Fayette County

PA 51 begins as Pittsburgh Street in downtown Uniontown at an intersection with U.S. Route 40 Business. As Route 51 heads north, it exits Uniontown and intersects with U.S. Route 119, Uniontown's bypass. North of US 119, PA 51 is a rural, multi-lane divided highway that is also known as Pittsburgh Road. In North Union Township, Route 51 divides for 0.7 miles (1.1 km); the road has a large median that is home to several businesses. It then shifts towards the northwest, continuing as a multi-lane divided highway. In Perry Township, PA 51 intersects Pennsylvania Route 201 at a cloverleaf interchange. North of PA 201, it enters the borough of Perryopolis as Fuller Drive; after leaving the city to the north, PA 51 begins to parallel the Youghiogheny River.[2]

Westmoreland County

Upon entering Westmoreland County, PA 51 intersects the southern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 981. About 2,000 feet (610 m) northwest of PA 981, it also intersects Interstate 70 at exits 46 A-B to form a full cloverleaf interchange. To the northwest in Sweeneys Crossroads, the road intersects Pennsylvania Route 201 again. PA 51 divides before reaching the county border and also passes by Rostraver Airport. Route 51 only spends seven miles (11 km) in Westmoreland County, all in Rostraver Township.[3]

Allegheny County

What is now Route 51 along the Ohio River in the early 1800s looking toward the Point

Upon entering Allegheny County, PA 51 is called Hayden Boulevard, and it meets with Pennsylvania Route 136 at a diamond interchange. Route 51 intersects the southern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 48 in Forward Township before entering the boroughs of Elizabeth and West Elizabeth. In West Elizabeth, after crossing the Monongahela River via the Regis R. Malady Bridge, PA 51 immediately intersects with Pennsylvania Route 837. It then continues towards Jefferson Hills in the northwest, where it meets the northern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 43 (Mon-Fayette Expressway) at exit 54. PA 43 is expected to extend further north of PA 51.[4] Northwest of PA 43, PA 51 becomes Clairton Boulevard. In Pleasant Hills and West Mifflin, PA 51 passes by the Century III Mall, one of the largest in the area. The stretch of PA 51/Clairton Blvd. continues through Baldwin Borough, Whitehall, and Brentwood. At the border of Brentwood and Overbrook, PA 51 becomes Saw Mill Run Boulevard.[5]

At the southern tip of Pittsburgh, PA 51 intersects the northern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 88 before continuing towards the north as Saw Mill Run Blvd. It meets with the Liberty Tunnel connector, which leads towards the Liberty Bridge and Interstate 579; PA 51 also begins a concurrency with U.S. Route 19 Truck at this junction. The US 19 Truck/PA 51 concurrency ends when US 19 TRK joins Interstate 376, U.S. Route 22, and U.S. Route 30 at exit 5. At this point, PA 51 begins a brief concurrency with U.S. Route 19 through the West End Bypass, a short expressway in Pittsburgh's West End section. The concurrency ends as US 19 crosses the Ohio River on the West End Bridge while PA 51 turns left, heading toward McKees Rocks to the northwest as West Carson Street, paralleling the Ohio River. Entering McKees Rocks, it makes a 90 degree turn to become Locust Street, then makes another turn to become Charties Avenue, and makes a final turn towards the northwest to become Island Avenue. In Stowe Township, PA 51 becomes Robinson Boulevard (formerly Fleming Park Rd.) and passes south of Neville Island on the Ohio River. After a couple of S-curves, Route 51 becomes Coraopolis Road and intersects Interstate 79 at exit 64. It becomes State Avenue in Coraopolis before dividing into two one-way streets called 4th and 5th Avenues. North of Coraopolis, PA 51 continues to parallel the Ohio River as University Boulevard in Moon Township. It then becomes Stoops Ferry Road and passes through Crescent Township on McGovern Boulevard before entering Beaver County. The route spends 36 miles in Allegheny County.[6]

Beaver County

Route 51 in northwestern Beaver County

At the Beaver County line, PA 51 intersects the eastern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 151. North of PA 151, Route 51 enters South Heights as Jordan Street. The route extends past the Ambridge-Aliquippa bridge, through the city of Aliquippa and West Aliquippa. Farther to the north, the highway heads towards the north as Constitution Boulevard entering Monaca as Beaver and Pennsylvania Avenues before making a 90-degree turn towards the north. Route 51 crosses the Ohio River on the Monaca-East Rochester Bridge, entering the borough of East Rochester. It makes a 90-degree turn to the west to begin a concurrency with Pennsylvania Route 65. In Rochester, PA 51/PA 65 meet with Pennsylvania Route 18; the concurrency ends in downtown Rochester, when PA 51 begins a concurrency with Pennsylvania Route 68. PA 51/PA 68 cross the Beaver River on the Beaver Bridge. In Bridgewater, the PA 51/PA 68 concurrency ends when Route 51 makes a 45-degree turn towards the northwest and continues towards the northwest as Constitution Boulevard. In Chippewa Township, it intersects Interstate 376 (James E. Ross Highway) at exit 31. Northwest of I-376, Route 51 intersects the western terminus of Pennsylvania Route 588 and Pennsylvania Route 251. In South Beaver Township, PA 51 intersects Pennsylvania Route 168 and continues towards the northwest as Constitution Boulevard. Pennsylvania Route 51 terminates (ends) at the Ohio state line; in Ohio, it continues as Ohio State Route 14.[7]


Route 51 was first signed in 1927. The north section was signed first, followed by the section between Pittsburgh and Uniontown. Major construction projects included a bypass of Perryopolis built in 1950, the West End Bypass in Pittsburgh that was completed in 1953, and the interchange at the southern portal of the Liberty Tunnels in Pittsburgh.[1]

Before the turnpikes were built, Route 51, alongside Ohio State Route 14, served as the main corridor connecting Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

The Saw Mill Run Boulevard section of the highway was the first direct connection between Pittsburgh and the South Hills once the Liberty Tunnel was completed. It significantly decreased the driving time to Pittsburgh from the cities of Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport.[8]

Improvements are planned at the intersection with PA 88 south of Pittsburgh, where bottlenecks occur regularly. Other improvements planned include new interchanges at the Liberty Tunnel and West End Bridge (West End Circle), a center median for the rest of Saw Mill Run Boulevard, and an improved intersection with Woodruff Street.[8]

Saw Mill Run Expressway (canceled)

The Saw Mill Run Expressway was a highway proposed for the South Hills. It would have been built on the same right-of-way as Saw Mill Run Boulevard. In 1964, while designated as "the worst bottleneck in Western Pennsylvania," a plan was made to turn the crowded highway into an expressway. The plan was proposed to the Department of Highways and included a renovation of the Liberty Tunnel, several widening projects, new turning lanes, and a central median. The plan would have required cooperation from the surrounding communities.

The finished product was to include a 5.5-mile (8.9 km) limited access expressway from Overbrook to the West End. It would have been twice the width of the current highway and had a total cost of nearly $150 million. Interest in the expressway declined once the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission expressed concerns about business along the corridor, and the project was dropped in 1973.[9]

Major intersections

County Location mi[10] km Destinations Notes
Fayette Uniontown 0.0 0.0
US 40 Bus.
North Union Township 1.2 1.9 US 119 Interchange
Perry Township 11.5 18.5 PA 201 Interchange
Westmoreland Rostraver Township 18.8 30.3 PA 981 north Southern terminus of PA 981
19.2 30.9 I-70 Exit 46 (I-70)
21.6 34.8 PA 201
Allegheny Elizabeth Township 25.0 40.2 PA 136 Interchange
Forward Township 26.4 42.5 PA 48 / Orange Belt Southern terminus of PA 48 and southeastern terminus of Orange Belt
Monongahela River Regis R. Malady Bridge
West Elizabeth 30.1 48.4 PA 837
Jefferson Hills 32.7 52.6 Toll PA 43 Temporary northern terminus of PA 43
West Mifflin 37.7 60.7 Yellow Belt (Curry Hollow Road / Lebanon Church Road) Interchange
Pittsburgh 40.6 65.3 PA 88 / Blue Belt Northern terminus of PA 88, southern terminus of first Blue Belt concurrency
40.8 65.7 Blue Belt (Maytide Street) Northern terminus of first Blue Belt concurrency
43.1 69.4
US 19 Truck (Liberty Avenue)
Southern terminus of US 19 Truck concurrency
44.6 71.8 I-376 / US 22 / US 30

US 19 / US 19 Truck
Exit 69B (I-376/US 22/US 30); northern terminus of US 19 Truck concurrency; northern terminus of US 19 concurrency
45.7 73.5 US 19 north / PA 60 north / PA 837 south Northern terminus of US 19 concurrency; southern terminus of PA 60; northern terminus of PA 837
McKees Rocks 48.1 77.4 Blue Belt (Island Avenue) Southern terminus of second Blue Belt concurrency
48.3 77.7 Blue Belt (McKees Rocks Bridge) Northern terminus of second Blue Belt concurrency
Robinson Township 54.1 87.1 I-79 Exit 64 (I-79)
54.2 87.2 Yellow Belt (North Forest Grove Road) Eastern terminus of Yellow Belt concurrency
Coraopolis 55.4 89.2 Yellow Belt (Ferree Street / Coraopolis Bridge) Western terminus of Yellow Belt concurrency
Moon Township 57.7 92.9 Orange Belt (Sewickley Bridge) Southern terminus of Orange Belt concurrency
58.5 94.1 Orange Belt (University Boulevard) Northern terminus of Orange Belt concurrency
Beaver South Heights 61.9 99.6 PA 151 west Eastern terminus of PA 151
Ohio River Monaca – East Rochester Bridge
East Rochester 71.0 114.3 PA 65 Southern terminus of PA 65 concurrency
Rochester 72.1 116.0 PA 18
72.4 116.5 PA 65 / PA 68 Northern terminus of PA 65 concurrency; southern terminus of PA 68 concurrency
Bridgewater 72.7 117.0 PA 68 Northern terminus of PA 68 concurrency
Chippewa Township 78.9 127.0
I-376 to I-76 / Penna Turnpike – Pittsburgh, New Castle
Exit 31 (I-376)
79.5 127.9 PA 588 east Western terminus of PA 588
79.8 128.4 PA 251
South Beaver Township 83.2 133.9 PA 168
Darlington 89.1 143.4 SR 14 Ohio state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

PA 51 Truck

PA Route 51 Truck
Location: Elizabeth, Pennsylvania
Existed: 1970–present

Pennsylvania Route 51 Truck is a 12-mile-long (0.80 km) truck route in the Pittsburgh suburb of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. The truck designation is not intended for vehicles already on PA 51, but for those entering the highway southbound. A cloverleaf has been established to direct traffic between Elizabeth's main street (known as Center Ave and McKeesport Road on different ends of town), but its narrow and winding design makes it difficult for trucks to access Route 51 southbound. As a result, they are directed to enter onto Route 51 northbound, cross the bridge over the Monongahela River, and use a special u-turn exit to reach southbound lanes of travel.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kitsko, Jeffrey J. "Pennsylvania Route 51". Pennsylvania Highways. Retrieved 2008-10-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[self-published source]
  2. Google (2008-10-08). "PA 51 in Fayette County" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Google (2008-10-08). "PA 51 in Westmoreland County" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Kitsko, Jeffrey J. "Mon-Fayette Expressway". Pennsylvania Highways. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Google (2008-10-08). "PA 51 in southern Allegheny County" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Google (2008-10-08). "PA 51 in Pittsburgh and northern Allegheny County" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Google (2008-10-08). "PA 51 in Beaver County" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Prince, Adam. "Saw Mill Run Blvd--A History". GribbleNation. Retrieved 2008-10-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Kitsko, Jeffrey J. "Pittsburgh Highways: Saw Mill Run Expressway (Cancelled)". Pennsylvania Highways. Retrieved 2008-10-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Street Atlas (Map). Cartography by DeLorme. DeLorme. 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Route map: Bing / Google