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I-79 tolls would burden community
by Andrea Iglar
As Chief of Police and a 30-year resident of South Fayette Township, I feel compelled to reach out to the community to share my thoughts regarding the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s proposed toll on Interstate 79.
My top priority is to protect the safety and interests of our citizens, and I do not believe the toll is in the community’s best interest.
Professionally and personally, I have many concerns about the proposed toll, which would fund a project at the Bridgeville/South Fayette interchange that could start as soon as 2023.
A toll would significantly increase traffic in an area that already is heavily congested. Our police department, township staff and elected township commissioners have worked tirelessly to alleviate and improve existing traffic problems within the I-79/Washington Pike corridor, while also working to increase and support commercial and residential growth.
The toll would cause many motorists to exit the highway seeking alternate routes to avoid the toll, worsening congestion, impacting safety and causing additional wear-and-tear on our local roads.
Additionally, a toll would place an unfair burden on local taxpayers, forcing local residents, businesses and employees to pay more than their fair share for access to a highway area traversed by at least 87,000 vehicles a day—12 percent of them trucks.
Charging a toll also could discourage businesses and residents who are looking to move here, despite the great schools, parks, neighborhoods and other community amenities.
PennDOT has chosen nine locations throughout the state to place tolls. The I-79 Bridgeville/South Fayette location is the only toll proposed in Allegheny County and the only toll on the entire length of I-79. Why was our community chosen to shoulder this additional cost? Is it because South Fayette Township is one of the fastest growing areas in the state? Is it because this area has had an uptick in vehicular traffic and would therefore generate more revenue?
We must think about these serious questions and demand answers.
The time for residents to speak out is now.
Here’s how to share your opinion with PennDOT about the proposed I-79 toll:
(scroll to bottom of page for feedback form)
Mail: I-79 Widening, Bridges and Bridgeville Interchange Reconfiguration Project, 301 Grant St Floor 17, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Learn more from
this article in South Fayette Connect magazine
John R. Phoennik
Volunteer firefighters valuable to community
by Andrea Iglar
South Fayette Township recognizes the dedicated, hardworking volunteers of the South Fayette Township fire service.
South Fayette is fortunate to be served by four high-quality fire departments that are staffed 100 percent by volunteers.
We appreciate their sacrifice and community service as they devote time away from family to respond to emergency calls, protect our homes and businesses, participate in training and organize fundraisers.
With so many duties on their plate, all four fire departments need more volunteers.
Adults and youth have many opportunities to help, including options that don’t require going into a burning building. For example, volunteers can assist with special events, computer work and support tasks.
The fire service also needs the community's ongoing financial support.
Our volunteer fire departments—Fairview, Oak Ridge, South Fayette and Sturgeon—could not survive without direct donations from individuals, families and businesses.
The township recognizes our fire departments as a valuable public safety service and assists by offsetting operating costs and offering tax incentives to volunteers.
Our costs would be much higher if it weren’t for the devoted volunteers who have a passion to serve.
We hope you will share our enthusiasm and pride for the fire service by continuing to provide financial support to your local fire station and, if possible, by volunteering.
John M. Barrett
South Fayette Township Manager
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