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Just a thought...



I've always considered the old gribblenation website and the roadgeeking hobby as a whole as an evolving research paper.  Of course now this blog takes the place of the old website.  The premise is that every road has a story - some are more interesting than others - and it's our job to find it out.  One of the bigger mysteries for me was the stub end of the US 40 Expressway just outside of Brownsville, Pennsylvania that sat there for nearly four decades.

Well last week, I had a blog comment with new information about where that never built highway was to go and what happened to it.

"According to the 25 Mar 1975 The Evening Standard (Uniontown PA):

Proposed construction of a four-lane roadway (Route 40) from the Grindstone Rd. to Uniontown has been held up due to an Environmental Impact Statement and changes necessitated by the Brier Hill "new town" project falling through. A public hearing should be held within the next two months but construction is at least three years away. The project includes a 6.9-mile section from the interchange at the Grindstone Rd. to Rocks Works at a cost of $14 million and another section from Rocks Works to the Uniontown by-pass, four miles at an estimated cost of $15 million."

Now of course that leads to new questions - what was the alignment and how much does the current PA Toll 43 follow those plans from the 1960s & 70s? Where and how would have it connected to the US 119 Uniontown Bypass? What was the Brier Hill "new town" project. Brier Hill was a company mining town built in the early 1900s and the mine closed shop in 1937. The community was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 - did that have something to do with it? I had never heard of Rocks Works until this new information and it just seems like a crossroads but who knows.

I think I can safely say that the financial difficulties of PennDot during this time period killed this project like so many others.

But this is the fun part of the hobby, at least it is for me. It is what you learn about things past, present and future just from an old road, an old building, or something that just seems out of place. I think we need more of that in the hobby.

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