|For over 20 years, Rand McNally's maps of downtown Pittsburgh included a full connection between the Crosstown Expressway and Bigelow Boulevard.|
The two photos above show the retaining wall with the ghost ramp and how it would have connected to Bigelow. The below photo shows exactly how narrow the off-ramp would have been.
outside of this video discussing the Bigelow ghost ramps, I have never heard of that. It is correct that the completion of I-579 and the construction of the Veterans Bridge carrying the Interstate over the Allegheny River did impact the former Pennsylvania Railroad freight building; however, the highway's construction had no impact on the former rail station. The other reason mentioned is that funding for the completion of the Crosstown Expressway, Interstate 579, required some type of mass transit/high occupancy vehicle requirement. The I-279/579 HOV lanes were the result and because of this, the additional ramps were taken out. It is most likely the combination of the two - the addition of the HOV lanes - and the impact on the freight warehouse - that caused the full Bigelow Boulevard interchange to be shelved.
The final three photos show how far along construction on this ramp went - and in even photos taken in 2001 - how the long abandoned ramp had been overgrown with grass, brush, and trees.
In addition, there were once plans to have an additional interchange along Interstate 579 connecting the Crosstown Expressway with Fort Duquesne Boulevard. If you have any information on the overall plans and demise of the Bigelow or Ft. Duquesne Blvd. ramps and interchanges, please leave a comment or drop me an e-mail.
Sources & Links:
- Bruce Cridlebaugh
- Interstate 579 @ PAHighways.com ---Jeff Kitsko
- Interstate 579 @ Interstate-guide.com