While I believe there is an amazing amount of awesome things do see and do right here in Beaver County, there is also no denying that there are infinitely more possibilities located just south of us in the city of Pittsburgh.
Whether you are heading down for a game, going to see a show, or taking the kids to the Carnegie Science Center (or checking out one of their 21+ events with Brian), Pittsburgh offers a whole world of opportunities for Beaver County residents.
One of the interesting debates that you will hear throughout Beaver County from time to time is whether it is faster to get to the city by taking the Expressway or by taking Ohio River Boulevard. Depending on where you live in the county and what type of driver you might be, you probably have an opinion on this as well!
Let’s take a look at the advantages that each route to Pittsburgh has to offer:
Taking the Expressway to Pittsburgh
The Expressway, also known as “The Parkway” or I-376 (formerly Route 60), offers the luxury of a two lane highway with no stop lights. You can usually cruise straight into the city at 55-65 miles per hour (or faster if you are one of those people).
Another big selling point for taking the Expressway is that you will get to drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel. Many locals agree that the view coming out of the inbound tunnel is one of the most breathtaking views of the city you will find.
On the downside, if your timing is bad on the Expressway, you can potentially run into stand-still traffic around Robinson, or heading into the tunnel.
Here are the milage and estimated times to travel to Pittsburgh from different parts of Beaver County using the Expressway:
- From Hopewell High School – 26.8 miles – 32 minutes
- From Central Valley High School – 32.3 miles – 36 minutes
- From Beaver Falls High School – 42.9 miles – 46 minutes
- From Blackhawk High School – 42.1 miles – 43 minutes
- From Ellwood City School District – 54.2 miles – 64 minutes
Taking Ohio River Boulevard to Pittsburgh
At many times of day, particularly when the Expressway is experiencing heavy traffic, you can get in and out of the city much faster by taking Ohio River Boulevard. It is also a great option if you are uncomfortable with driving through the Fort Pitt tunnel and across the Fort Pitt bridge as many people are.
If mileage is a concern and your a regular commuter, Ohio River Boulevard can also shave as much as 10 miles/day off of your commute.
You will have to stop at numerous lights along the way, but if you don’t mind the lights you can usually get to the city pretty quickly this way. The route also has more to offer in terms of scenery as you will get to see the river activity along the way.
Insider Tip: In a discussion about this article, Marc pointed out that anyone coming from north of the Chippewa exit on The Expressway can save on tolls by taking Ohio River Boulevard instead. If you a regular commuter, this can add up dramatically over the course of a year.
Here are the milage and estimated times to travel to Pittsburgh from different parts of Beaver County using Ohio River Boulevard:
- From Hopewell High School – 20.9 miles – 34 minutes
- From Central Valley High School – 28.8 miles – 44 minutes
- From Beaver Falls High School – 31.5 miles – 47 minutes
- From Blackhawk High School – 35.8 miles – 51 minutes
- From Ellwood City School District – 40.9 miles – 63 minutes
Which Route Do You Take?
There are two factors that generally contribute to which route to Pittsburgh a Beaver County resident prefers.
Most of the decision is made based on location. If you live somewhere in Baden or Ambridge, you will naturally plan on taking Ohio River Boulevard. If you live just off the Aliquippa exit on 376, you are probably more likely to take the Expressway.
Another contributing factor is that many of us tend to take the route we are most comfortable with. If your parents always took “Route 60,” then you are probably more likely to take the Expressway today, even if you recently moved to Rochester.