Greene County Transportation Networking and Planning
Department of Economic Development for Greene County
Contact Persons: Robbie Matesic, Executive Director of Economic Development
49 South Washington Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370
Office Hours: 8:30 AM4:30 PM, MondayFriday
A major force that will impact a county’s local economy is the proximity to markets. Waynesburg, the county seat, is approximately 25 miles from Washington, PA; Morgantown, WV; and Uniontown, PA. These three cities are large enough and close enough to serve as market influences to Greene County. However, the transportation corridors connecting these areas to Greene County dictate the time and ease of travel. For instance, State Route 21 connects Uniontown to Waynesburg while Interstate 79 connects to Morgantown, WV and Washington PA.
The most signigicant transportation development in Greene County since 1946 was the construction of 18.8 miles of Interstate 79 (I-79) across the county during the years 1963 to 1975. The Interstate is a limited access thoroughfare that offers travelers an accelerated ability to access these two (Morgantown and Washington) potential employment centers while State Route 21 (to Carmichaels and Uniontown, PA) is a rural arterial that is posted for lower speed limits and restricted travel lanes.
A significant addition to I-79 was the construction during 1994-1995 of the Greene County Welcome Center alongside the northbound lanes near the Kirby exit. The project cost over $2.7 million, and was dedicated on May 26, 1995. The plaza of the Welcome Center contains a munument to Greene County miners, placed there by the Greene County Coal Miners' Monument Committee.
Interstate 79 (I-79) as part of its journey between Morgantown, West Virginia and suburban Pittsburgh, this interstate highway breezes through Greene County, providing access to Waynesburg and several small communities. Much of the land along-side I-79 is undeveloped.
State Route 18 is the southernmost segments of one of the few Pennsylvania state routes to touch two state borders, this route begins at the West Virginia border in Freeport Township; after winding through the rolling hills of southwestern Greene County, it forms a consignment with Route 21 to reach the county seat in Waynesburg, before twisting back toward the northwest and into Washington County.
State Route 19 although mostly parallel to and bypassed by the interstate system, this highway is a key north-south link in the county; entering from West Virginia and exiting into rural Washington County, this route connects a variety of small communities to Waynesburg, through which it is briefly cosigned with Route 21.
State Route 21 is the principal East/West arterial through the county and connects to I-79.
State Route 88 is classified as a Minor Arterial and is the primary North – South route, part of a long, winding route that travels slowly through suburban Pittsburgh and the Monongahela Valley, this highway runs through small boroughs such as Carmicheals and Rices Landing during its stretch through the county, before exiting on a bridge over the Monongahela to reach its terminus in the small Fayette County town of Point Marion.
State Route 188 this short rural access route connects Franklin Township, which holds Waynesburg’s business district, with Morgan Township and Jefferson Township, before ending at its parent highway, Route 88.
State Route 218 (Rt. 218) is a rural major collector road that runs North - South from Waynesburg through Wayne Township into West Virginia.
State Route 221 is a winding highway traverses northern townships in the county, entering from rural areas of Washington County and ending in Morgan Township at Route 188.
State Route 231 the final miles of this highway straddle the Washington-Greene County line, as the highway briefly enters Morris Township in its waning segments.
Multi-Modal Transportation Network:
Scenic Roads: While Greene County does not have any officially designated Pennsylvania Byways, several roadways have the potential to serve as scenic traveling routes. Such a designation is feasible for several roads within the County, which would ultimately support county tourism goals. US Route 19 parallels I-79 and offers a scenic alternative; SR 21 links many historic sites (Greene County Historical Museum, covered bridges, Waynesburg Historic District, etc.). State Route 88 provides access to many recreational resources (Greene River Trail, Greensboro Trail, Warrior Trail, boating, etc.).
Hiking and Biking Trails: Alternative modes of transportation and recreational opportunities are plentiful in Greene County and serve as an excellent opportunity to promote recreational pursuits, build awareness of healthy lifestyles, and support tourism efforts. A PennDOT designated bicycle route and six County-designated bicycle routes offer riding opportunities to appeal to a variety of skill and fitness levels. Walking and bicycling activities are readily available on the Greene River Trail, which follows the Monongahela River in northeastern Greene County. The Warrior Trail and Catawba Path offer historical interpretative opportunities as these former pathways of Native Americans cross over privately owned lands giving landowners methods to initiate small commercial enterprises.
Click here for information of local public trails.
Water Trails: Greene County has also recognized its portion of the Monongahela River as a component of the Upper Mon Water Trail. This trail along with the Warrior Trail is recognized by DCNR as two of the major greenway corridors in the Commonwealth. Communities along the Monongahela River are reconnecting to the waterway to support recreation-based economic development. Currently, efforts are underway to develop a water trail along Ten Mile Creek. Communities along the water trail will see economic benefits as trailheads and access points could serve as centers for commercial and recreational activities.
Airport: The Greene County Airport is not only an important element in the County’s transportation system, but is also a significant influence in the economic strategy employed by county officials. The Airport contributes over $300,000 directly to the local economy, with an overall total output of $984,400. Future improvements will increase the economic importance of this transportation facility.
Click here for county airport information.
Greene County can expect to have continued growth within industries related to transportation. Specifically, the manufacturing industry can be expected to have transfer benefits to support growth in the air and road transportation sectors. Greene County has a golden opportunity to create a transportation corridor to host companies serving freight shippers and warehousing services. Proximity to cities such as Pittsburgh, Morgantown, even Youngstown and Harrisburg make Greene County an ideal location for the transportation/warehousing industry.
The future vision for transportation includes safe and efficient travel on clearly marked roadways; diverse transportation systems that encompass an expanded air traffic operation, an extensive pedestrian network, and public transportation options for residents of Greene County to access employment, medical centers, shopping, and entertainment. This will become a reality with physical road improvements to major thoroughfares and improved access to western Greene County.
Road Improvement Projects: Two transportation improvement projects are high priorities for Greene County – the Morrisville widening project and the Baileys Crossroads project, which consists of reconfiguring State Route 21 in Cumberland Township. Both projects are submitted for inclusion on the State Transportation Improvement Plan and it is vital that the County continue to push for their priority road projects. The alleviation of the congestion and improve traffic flow is critical to the advancement of economic growth of Greene County.
In 2006, the County Commissioners responded to the public outcry to alleviate congestion in the Morrisville area of Franklin Township. They appealed to PennDOT to consider “right-sizing” in Morrisville and narrowly focus on two bridge structures in the project area – the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge over SR 21 and the Freedom Bridge which carries Route 21 over Ten Mile Creek.
Congressman Jack Murtha supported Greene County efforts to improve the fundamental transportation corridor of State Route 21. The realignment of State Route 21 in Cumberland Township needs to allow for an uninterrupted dominant flow of traffic and address intersections for improved safety and operation. Improvements to State Route 21 will optimize the opportunity to provide a gateway to the Carmichaels area and will enhance the development interest on adjoining properties, which include the site of the former Buckeye Coal Company Mine.
County Bridge Replacement Program: In February of 2008, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania announced the “Rebuilding Pennsylvania” short-term stimulus program, which focuses on the repair of structurally deficient bridges and other infrastructure improvements. Greene County is also working to rehabilitate or replace its problem bridges in order to ensure the safety of it residents and avoid serious travel disruptions. Greene County contains over 500 bridges; 85 of them county owned, including seven covered bridges. Deficient bridges that are in need of rehabilitation and/or replacement are critical elements of the highway network in Greene County and are vital to a whole transportation system. The Greene County Department of Buildings and Grounds estimates an annual $500,000 in costs for needed bridge improvements.
Public Transportation: Greene County is invested in its commitment to create jobs, protect the environment, and make it easier for employees to get to work and consumers to get to local businesses. Public transportation generates those benefits but can be costly and is typically heavily subsidized. Within Southwestern Pennsylvania there are different mass transit systems serving Lawrence, Butler, Armstrong, Indiana, Beaver Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, and Fayette counties. Each of these systems faces varying degrees of success when serving constituents or attaining fiscal solvency.
Greene County firmly supports the concept of public transportation, but recognizes the need to do so in a manner that is effective and economically prudent. Currently, there is only one transit route available to county residents, which is a service between Morgantown and Pittsburgh with a stop at the Greene County Airport. To expand public transit options, Greene County leadership will approach this issue from a regional perspective. First, the County will lean on the experience of those who have implemented successful transit programs. Second, planning efforts will be coordinated with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, which serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization, to ensure that regional transit goals can be attained. Finally, the preparation of a Transit Study will be needed to determine what level of transit service the population / resources within Greene County can support.
Multi-Modal Approach: A fully functional transportation network encompasses a wide spectrum of modes by which to move people and goods. A multi-modal network transcends roadways to include pedestrian and bicycling routes, aviation, rail, and waterways. Providing safe and diverse transportation options will continue to be the basis of the transportation philosophy for Greene County.
Four interchanges are located along I-79 in Greene County and present opportunities for economic growth, preservation, and development. The growth potential is highest for the Waynesburg Interchange, which is already associated with highway and retail commercial development and provides direct access to Waynesburg, EverGreene Technology Park, Greene County Fairgrounds and the Greene County Airport. A future park-n-ride is slated for development at the Ruff Creek Interchange, which provides access to State Route 221 and U.S. Route 19. However, it is important that any new development in this area reflect the rural and agricultural character of the region.
Small-scale commercial development, such as “mom and pop” type stores would be encouraged. The Mt. Morris Interchange in Perry Township lends to future development of transportation-oriented companies and industrial uses that rely on freight shipping via the commercial trucking industry, due to its location as the first exit north of the West Virginia border. Finally, the Kirby Interchange in Whiteley Township will likely remain largely undeveloped but will provide access to numerous recreational pursuits, such as the state game lands.