PITTSBURGH — Turnpike 43 stretches for miles to the south, but something new opens up north.
“These things are at the forefront, and the toll road is right there trying to make these innovations,” said University of Pittsburgh professor Julie Vandenbossche.
In the woods, 14 miles will be built to connect Route 43 to Parkway East on the last stretch of the Mon Fayette Freeway. But Turnpike is working with researchers at Pitt to add new technology to the structure.
“Use pavement materials to build energy harvesting,” Vandenbossche said.
As you drive, the movement of your car will power the signs and lights on the road. In addition, the researchers are considering adding charging elements to the road segment to see if it could charge electric vehicles while they are driving.
download Free WPXI News App For breaking news alerts.
“It’s futuristic, but we might be able to identify things we haven’t even thought of yet,” said Joseph Szcur, director of iRise.
Noise barriers will be built along sections of the road that will help eliminate vehicular pollution, and a dual digital model of the Pitt Road section will help determine wear and tear during construction.
All of this is being tested in western Pennsylvania for the first time, and the big question is, will it work?
“I don’t think it’s a question of whether it’s going to be successful, it’s a question of how much, and that’s what’s exciting,” Szcur said.
It is unclear which test program will take place in which part of this new phase. If they do work, the Turnpike Program will implement these ideas into future projects across the state.
Follow Channel 11 News Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI now
©2022 Cox Media Group