Interstate 376


Interstate 376 East
These are the first reassurance markers on eastbound Interstate 376, and they are the first indication that U.S. 22-30 follow Interstate 376 eastbound rather than continue north on Interstate 279. This marks the western terminus of Interstate 376 on the transition ramp from Northbound Interstate 279 onto Eastbound Interstate 376. Although the overhead signs do not mention it, the reassurance marker here clearly shows the cosignage with U.S. 22 and U.S. 30. Interstate 376 is the Penn-Lincoln Parkway East, so named because U.S. 22 is the William Penn Highway and U.S. 30 is the Abraham Lincoln Highway. Prior shields had the state name, but those were replaced between 2002 and 2004 with these neutered, "bubble" shields. Photo taken 10/29/04.
The first exit along eastbound Interstate 376 is a left exit to Exit 1C, Grant Street. As a result of reconstruction of Interstate 376, the Penn-Lincoln Parkway East is a much smoother ride with better signage (compare the May 2002 photo with the October 2004 photo). Over the river, note the former bridge pillar to the right (south), which is all that remains of an early bridge across the Monongahela River. Interstate 376 through downtown Pittsburgh hugs the north shore of the Monongahela River. It is squeezed to the north by downtown, making this a very tight urban freeway. The shoulders used to be very narrow, but they are slightly wider now as a result of reconstruction. Floods in the summer and fall of 2004 caused water to cover some approach ramps to Interstate 376. However, this section of Interstate 376 freeway is on an elevated viaduct. Traffic approaches Interstate 376 from the left and right throughout this stretch, as some city streets connect from the north and others from underneath the viaduct on the right. First photo taken 10/29/04; second photo taken 05/24/02.
Eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30, Penn-Lincoln Parkway East, approaches Exit 1C, Grant Street, one-quarter mile. Note the difference in signage between the construction in 2002 and the completed configuration in late 2004. First photo taken 10/29/04; second photo taken 05/24/02.
As Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30 approach the Grant Street offramp, the freeway hugs the north bank of the Monongahela River. The Smithfield Street Bridge is the first bridge that crosses the river, followed by the Liberty Bridge (connected to Interstate 579) and the South 10th Street Bridge (yellow suspension bridge). Photo taken 10/29/04.
Eastbound Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30 reaches the left exit for Exit 1C, Grant Street. Use Grant Street north to meet the downtown Purple Belt, which offers a circular route around the downtown area. The Purple Belt follows Grant Street north to Liberty Avenue west to Stanwix Street south to Boulevard of the Allies east back to Grant Street. Use Grant Street north to connect to the Boulevard of the Allies, Fifth Avenue, Ross Street, Liberty Bridge, South 10th Street Bridge, and Interstate 579. Photo taken 10/29/04.
Due to the lack of expansive shoulders on this section of the parkway, there are several emergency pull outs on both directions of Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30. This pull out is found immediately after the Grant Street offramp. Photo taken 10/29/04.
A railroad bridge crosses over Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30 as the freeway remains close to the north bank of the Monongahela River, now a bit lower than the previous elevated section. Photo taken 10/29/04.
The Liberty Bridge, which connects the Liberty Tunnels with Interstate 579, passes over Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30 without any exit from eastbound. The substructure of the Liberty Bridge is visible from the Parkway. The northern end of this bridge marks the southern terminus of short Interstate 579, and there is no direct connection between Interstate 376 and Interstate 579. The Liberty Bridge crosses the Monongahela River, then immediately provides access to the Mount Washington area as well as connect directly to the Liberty Tunnel en route to areas of Pittsburgh southeast of Mount Washington, including Pennsylvania 51, Saw Mill Run Boulevard. Photo taken 10/29/04.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 is Exit 2A, Forbes Avenue east to Oakland and the University of Pittsburgh. The right lane becomes exit only onto Forbes Avenue, while the left two lanes continue east on Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30. Photo taken 10/29/04.
Eastbound Interstate 376 (U.S. 22-30, Penn-Lincoln Parkway East) passes under the 10th Street Suspension Bridge. Pittsburgh is blessed with many bridges, and a few of them look the same. Another group of yellow suspension bridges cross the Allegheny River north of downtown. This suspension bridge connects to the Armstrong Tunnel to the north, which provides a fast way out of downtown toward the south, as well as access to Pennsylvania 837 (East Carson Street), which parallels the south bank of the Monongahela River. Armstrong Tunnel goes directly underneath the campus of compacted Duquesne University, and it ends at Forbes Avenue, a major Pittsburgh thoroughfare. Photo taken 10/29/04.
Eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 approaches Exit 2A, Forbes Avenue. There are so many exits through downtown Pittsburgh that back when the exits were sequentially numbered, this was Exits 5 and 6. With the new mileage-based numbering, the exit numbers are more prone to have letter suffixes since so many exits occur in a very short stretch of highway. Exit 2A is for Forbes Avenue, which leads east into the community of Oakland. This is a main route through town, and it connects the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Schenley Park, and Frick Park. Interstate 376 roughly parallels Forbes Avenue. Photo taken 10/29/04.
Forbes Avenue is a major offramp from the parkway. It immediately connects to the Boulevard of the Allies via a barely noticeable connecting ramp from Forbes to the Boulevard via Ophelia Street. Use the Boulevard to bypass the University of Pittsburgh and connect to Schenley Park, Panther Hollow, Squirrel Hill, and Point Breeze. Continue on Forbes Avenue to continue to the Magee Women's Hospital, Pittsburgh Playhouse, University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University. The University of Pittsburgh was founded in 1787 as a small, private academy. Its signature building, the 42-floor Cathedral of Learning, was erected in 1937. Known for organ transplants and the first double organ transplant ever conducted in 1984, the university is well known for its medical sciences program. Photo taken 10/29/04.
Eastbound Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30 (Penn-Lincoln Parkway East) reaches Exit 2A, Forbes Avenue. In addition to the University of Pittsburgh, the smaller Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is also located in Oakland. The two campuses are nearly contiguous, with the Forbes Avenue bridge over a railroad separating the two. CMU has an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students, and it was founded in 1900 as the Carnegie Technical Schools for children of Pittsburgh's blue collar workers. It became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912, and it merged with Mellon Institute of Research in 1967 to form today's university. Photo taken 10/29/04.
A single lane provides the flyover ramp from Interstate 376 eastbound to Forbes Avenue eastbound. Photo taken 10/29/04.
The single lane prepares to merge with Forbes Avenue ahead. Oakland and the beginnings of the University of Pittsburgh are visible in the distance. Photo taken 10/29/04.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 is Exit 5, Forward Avenue north to Murray Avenue and Squirrel Hill and Beechwood Boulevard south to Homestead. The white warning sign is to announce restrictions within the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. Photo taken 5/24/02.
The right lane of eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 becomes exit only for Exit 5, Squirrel Hill and Homestead. Although not signed, this is the Blue Belt, which encircles the city in much the same manner as the aforementioned Purple Belt, but on a much, much larger scale. Other belts include the green, yellow, orange, and red belts. The Squirrel Hill Tunnel is just beyond this exit, so all prohibited vehicles must exit here. Photo taken 5/24/02.
Eastbound Interstate 376 approaches the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. This is the only tunnel along Interstate 376, and it facilitates traffic to pass under Squirrel Hill near Frick Park and the Point Breeze community of Pittsburgh. Photo taken 10/14/01.
After the tunnel, eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 intersects Braddock Avenue at Exit 7, which is where Interstate 376 leaves the city of Pittsburgh for the first time. Between Exit 7 and just west of Exit 8A, Interstate 376 passes through Edgewood, then clips Braddock Hills and Wilkinsburg near Exits 8A-B. This interchange (Exit 8A-B) is the interchange where U.S. 22 and U.S. 30 finally part ways, after sticking together from near Pittsburgh International Airport all the way east to this interchange. So, the next exit along the Parkway East is Exits 8A-B, which connects to Pennsylvania 8 North (Penn Avenue) and U.S. 30 East (Ardmore Boulevard). U.S. 30 splits off the parkway and travels southeast toward Forest Hills and Braddock Hills. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30, the Parkway East, reaches Exit 8A, U.S. 30/Ardmore Boulevard. The second ramp connects to Exit 8B, Pennsylvania 8, Penn Avenue. U.S. 30 will continue east, generally paralleling the Pennsylvania Turnpike across the Keystone State, culminating its Pennsylvania journey at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge in downtown Philadelphia. As for Pennsylvania 8, this state route is a major north-south corridor. Originating here at Interstate 376, Pennsylvania 8 travels northwest via Penn Avenue, picking up 5th Avenue and Washington Avenue north through Highland Park, then crossing the Allegheny River via the Fleming Bridge to depart from Pittsburgh and enter Etna and Sharpsburg. Pennsylvania 8 then takes Butler Street north toward Butler, Franklin, Oil City, and Titusville. Pennsylvania 8 ends at U.S. 20 in Erie, following a somewhat indirect route. Photo taken 10/14/01.
The next exit along eastbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22, Parkway East, is Exit 9, Greensburg Pike, followed by Exit 10A, Pennsylvania 130, Beulah Road. Pennsylvania 130 travels north to meet Pennsylvania 8 near the Fleming Bridge in Highland Park community of Pittsburgh. Between Exit 8B and Exit 10, Interstate 376 passes through Churchill. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Following Exit 10A, the next exit along eastbound Interstate 376 is Exit 10B, Junction Business U.S. 22 (William Penn Highway). Business U.S. 22 is a major highway that serves as a business connection to the city of Monroeville. Since Business U.S. 22 connects to Interstate 376 at both ends, so it could be considered a candidate for a Business Loop I-376 designation. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Continuing east, Interstate 376 and U.S. 22 bypass Wilkins Township and Monroeville, with all Monroeville city connections made via Business U.S. 22. As a result, there are no interchanges on Interstate 376 for four miles, until Exits 14A-B, Pennsylvania 48. Exits 14A-B are very close to Exit 15, which is where U.S. 22 splits off from Interstate 376 and the parkway reaches its terminus at Interstate 76/Pennsylvania Turnpike. Pennsylvania 48 leads south from this point, following the Orange Belt around the metropolitan area. The state route connects to Pennsylvania 51 south of the metropolitan area. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Eastbound Interstate 376 reaches Exit 14B, northbound Haymaker Road to Plum. The signage shows that the remaining choices for eastbound traffic are either Interstate 76/Pennsylvania Turnpike or U.S. 22. The left two lanes continue east on U.S. 22, which merges back with Business U.S. 22 through eastern Monroeville and onward to Murrysville and Export via the William Penn Highway. All through traffic for Interstate 376 east to Interstate 76 should take the right exit only lane. Photo taken 10/14/01.
The interchange between U.S. 22, Interstate 376, and Interstate 76 in Monroeville (Exit 15) marks the eastern terminus of Interstate 376. Travelers may choice between Interstate 76 eastbound to Harrisburg and Philadelphia or westbound to Ohio. This kind of signage is standard for most onramps to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, including the exit number listing. This listing has changed since the new mileage-based numbering system was implemented on the turnpike. Photo taken 10/14/01.
This classic old sign shows the old, all-caps text based standard for signage. The Interstate 76 shields appear to have been added after the original signs were placed. This is the split between east and westbound traffic from Interstate 376 onto Interstate 76. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Interstate 376 West
After the Braddock Road interchange (Exit 7), these reassurance markers for westbound Interstate 376, U.S. 22, and U.S. 30 are found along the westbound Penn-Lincoln Parkway as the parkway approaches the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30/Penn-Lincoln Parkway East is Exit 5, Beechwood Boulevard south to Homestead and Forward Avenue north to Murray Avenue to Squirrel Hill. This interchange is located immediately after the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Traffic bound for the sports complexes on the North Shore, including PNC Park (Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates) and Heinz Arena (home to National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers and NCAA's University of Pittsburgh Panthers), are advised here to take either Exit 2B (Boulevard of the Allies) or Exit 1A (Interstate 279 north). For downtown, use Exit 1C (Grant Street) and Exit 1B (Stanwix Street). Photo taken 11/01/04.
As for Exit 5 (Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Avenue), the exit will be a right exit immediately after the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, which comes into view here. Stay right to use Exit 5. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The eastern portal to the Squirrel Hill Tunnel comes into view along westbound Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30. This is the first of two tunnels for U.S. 22-30 through the Pittsburgh area; the other tunnel is the Fort Pitt Tunnel, which they share with Interstate 279. Photos taken 11/01/04.
Opened in June 1953 after seven years of construction, the Squirrel Hill Tunnel is a little less than a mile long.1 It consists of two bores, each serving one direction of the Parkway East. Note how the lighting changes from yellow-orange to white from one end of the tunnel to the other. Photos taken 11/01/04.
Westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reaches Exit 5, Beechwood Boulevard south to Homestead and Forward Avenue north to Squirrel Hill. A large redevelopment project in Homestead at the south end of the Homestead Grays Bridge (reached via Beechwood Boulevard and its continuation, Browns Hill Road southbound) has resulted the transformation of a former factory into a sprawling group of stores, restaurants, and other amenities. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The next interchange along westbound Interstate 376 and U.S. 22-30 is Exits 3B-A. Use Exit 3B (Bates Street northbound) to connect to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the University of Pittsburgh, and Carlow College. Photo taken 11/01/04.
This arch bridge carries Greenfield Road over Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 between Schenley Park to the north and the community of Greenfield to the south. Photo taken 11/01/04.
These westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reassurance shields are placed just prior to the one-mile advance sign for Exits 3B-A, Pennsylvania 885 (Bates Street) north to Oakland and south to Hazelwood, both communities within the city of Pittsburgh. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Two cell towers dominate the landscape as westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 approaches Exit 3B, Pennsylvania 885/Bates Street north to Oakland and the universities. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reaches Exit 3B, Pennsylvania 885 (Bates Street) northbound, which connects to the Boulevard of the Allies. Interstate 376 meets the Monongahela River for the first time, and the two will closely follow each other all the way to the Point, where the Monongahela River will feed into the Ohio River. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Immediately thereafter, westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reaches Exit 3A, Pennsylvania 885 (Bates Street to Second Avenue and Irvine Street) southbound. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 is Exit 2B, Pennsylvania 885 (again)/Boulevard of the Allies westbound to the Liberty Bridge south and Interstate 579 north. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The right lane becomes exit only for the connection to Boulevard of the Allies and Interstate 579, while the left two lanes continue along westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30. The freeway is riding at the bottom of a retaining wall. At the top of the wall is Duquesne University, a private, Catholic university that first opened in 1878. Its entire 40-acre campus is located on the Bluff, overlooking the Monongahela River and downtown Pittsburgh. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Downtown Pittsburgh comes into view along westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 as the freeway passes by the gore point for Exit 2B, which is the connection to Interstate 579. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 is Exit 1D, Second Avenue. Traffic from eastbound Second Avenue is merged directly onto eastbound Interstate 376 via the ramp that flies under the freeway at Exit 1D, but there is no connection from eastbound Interstate 376 to Second Avenue. The ramps above are part of the Birmingham Bridge and connection to the Boulevard of the Allies. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reaches Exit 1D, Second Avenue. The next exit is a left exit to Grant Street (Exit 1C), which connects to the Purple Belt in downtown Pittsburgh. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The Liberty Bridge, which crosses the Monongahela River between downtown and South Shore, is in full view along westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 as the Parkway East bends along with the river. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reaches Exit 1C, Grant Street. The right two lanes continue east, as the Parkway East now goes below grade briefly as it skirts downtown Pittsburgh. Photo taken 11/01/04.
An emergency pull out is situated on the left side of westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30/Parkway East due to the substandard shoulders along this stretch. The highway is very tightly nestled between the river and downtown. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 is Exit 1B, Stanwix Street, which connects to the western end of the Purple Belt that encircles downtown Pittsburgh. This exit provides direct access to downtown. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Westbound Interstate 376 approaches its western end as the freeway approaches its junction with Interstate 279. The left lane will connect to southbound Interstate 279, while the right lane will connect to northbound Interstate 279. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The right lane becomes exit only for northbound Interstate 279 (Exit 1A), while the left lane prepares to exit onto Exit 1B, Stanwix Street north into downtown. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reaches the left exit for Exit 1B, Stanwix Street. This is the last connection to downtown Pittsburgh; the remaining exits connect Interstate 376 to both directions of Interstate 279. Photo taken 11/01/04.
The left two lanes of westbound Interstate 376 transition to Interstate 279, along with U.S. 22-30 west. The right lane exits only to Exit 1A, Interstate 279 north to North Shore destinations. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Westbound Interstate 376/U.S. 22-30 reaches Exit 1A, Interstate 279 north to North Shore destinations via the Fort Duquesne Bridge. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Interstate 376 and the Penn-Lincoln Parkway East reach their western terminus. The left lane transitions directly from westbound Interstate 376 onto southbound Interstate 279 and the Fort Pitt Bridge. U.S. 22-30 also follow this transition, even though they are not signed through the interchange. Exit 5C, which is an exit from Interstate 279 southbound, allows access to the South Shore at the southern end of the Fort Pitt Bridge. Pennsylvania 837 follows Carson Street, which closely follows the southern bank of the Monongahela River. Photo taken 11/01/04.
Interstate 376 scenes
Trailblazer signage for Interstate 376 as found on Pennsylvania 380 (Bigelow Boulevard) near Mellon Arena. Photo taken 05/26/02.
Trailblazer signage for Interstate 376 as found near Forbes Avenue near the Magee Women's Hospital in Oakland. Photo taken 05/26/02.
The Birmingham Bridge is visible to the south of Interstate 376 at Exit 2A/Forbes Avenue. This bridge was conceived as part of the never-built Inner Belt Expressway, which would have run through the Oakland community north of Interstate 376. Photo taken 10/14/01.

Sources:

  1. Squirrel Hill Tunnel by Bruce Cridlebaugh

Page Updated August 12, 2007.

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