Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

According to jibin123, Pittsburgh is a city in the United States, located in the state of Pennsylvania. The city has 300,000 inhabitants and an agglomeration of 2,354,000 inhabitants (2021). The city is located in the west of the state.


The city is the second largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and is an important center in this part of the United States. The city is built in a hilly area at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers into the Ohio River. The city is located 185 kilometers southeast of Cleveland, 260 kilometers east of Columbus and 415 kilometers west of Philadelphia. The city is known for the many bridges and formerly because of the steel industry. Due to the loss of heavy industry, the population has fallen from 677,000 in 1950 to 300,000 in 2020. Since the 1980s, the city’s economy has diversified from steel to healthcare and high-tech, but this has not led to a population growth. The agglomeration is quite hilly, which means that many suburbs are quite far apart and have a low building density. The agglomeration is therefore quite large and measures 40 by 55 kilometres. From the many bridges you often have a spectacular view of the skyline and the surroundings and the city is known for its beautiful setting.

Naming & Spelling

The city of Pittsburgh is named after William Pitt the Elder (1708-1778). The suffix is unusually spelled not as ‘burg’, but as ‘burgh’. In the 1800s, the name was spelled very variably as Pittsburg and Pittsburgh. In 1891, the United States Board on Geographic Names decided to officially spell the name Pittsburg, for use by all federal agencies. Locally, however, the spelling Pittsburgh continued to be used and in 1911 the choice to drop the -h was reversed. There are other cities in the United States that are named after Pittsburgh but still use the spelling Pittsburg.

Road network

The highway network of the Pittsburgh region.

According to the projections of the 1950s, the road network was built for a larger population, but has become obsolete due to the rapidly increasing car use, even with the current population numbers. The road network is not in a grid pattern built, but consists of winding roads through the hills. There are quite a few major main roads, but the highway network is quite small and undersized in terms of capacity. Major highways I-76 and I-79 pass some distance from downtown, and Pittsburgh is one of the few cities where there is no main Interstate Highway route through the city itself. Interstate 279 instead serves downtown and is one of the major highways. Interstate 376 is the main east-west route. In addition, there are some other highways, such as US 22 and SR-28. State Route 576 forms an incomplete southern bypass of Pittsburgh. I-76 is a toll road, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Most highways have 2×2 to 2×3 lanes, with I-279 having an alternate lane.


Pittsburgh was an important center early on and the city was the terminus of the United States’ first-ever long-haul highway, when the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in 1940. was opened between Harrisburg and Irwin, a suburb of Pittsburgh. In 1951, I-76 was opened along Pittsburgh, but bypassed the city proper. The first freeway in the city itself was I-376, the first section of which was opened to the east of the city in 1953. What is special is that this highway has a number of tunnels, such as the Squirrel Hill Tunnel in the east and the Fort Pitt Tunnel in the west of Pittsburgh. The former opened in 1953 with the first highway section, the latter opened to traffic a little later in 1960. In 1962, I-376 was completed through Pittsburgh. Interstate 376 was for a long time the only interstate highway in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, the development of the highway network lagging behind that of other American cities.

In 1969, the first section of I-279 opened in downtown Pittsburgh, including the Fort Duquesne Bridge over the Allegheny River. During the 1960s and early 1970s, I-79 was built west of Pittsburgh, with the Ohio River bridge west of the city, the last link of the entire I-79 in Pennsylvania, opening in 1976. I- 79 bypasses the city proper, however, similar to I-76 north of the city. However, construction of I-279 in the north of the city did not pan out, only starting in 1985 and finally opening in 1989, the last major highway opening in the metropolitan area in decades. A little later, the shorter I-376 around Pittsburgh Airport opened in 1992.

Later, some toll roads were built in the wider region, but these are actually outside the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The pressure on Pittsburgh’s highway system is significant and higher than other cities in the region, especially compared to the cities of Ohio and Upstate New York. This is mainly because the main highway, Interstate 376, has a very outdated alignment has cramped structures such as bridges and tunnels and also largely has only 2×2 lanes. In addition, traffic in the city depends on a number of bridges. An advantage is that there is hardly any through traffic through Pittsburgh itself, they use I-70, I-76 and I-79 around the city. As a result, relatively little truck traffic drives through the urban core, especially compared to many other American cities. Despite this, the highway network has not been adequately developed, but because of the hilly landscape, improving the highway network in Pittsburgh will not be easy.

In the 1970s, a considerably larger highway network was planned than was eventually built. For example, a north-south highway was planned to run parallel to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which would better serve the suburbs. A southern bypass was also provided, as well as a large number of spikes and connecting highways. These plans were planned to be completed in 1980, but were ultimately not implemented. Some of the plans have become redundant after population growth started to stagnate from the 1970s, but some plans could have significantly relieved the highways around the center in particular. People now only have the choice between highways far outside the city or right through the center.

In 2021, State Route 576 opened around the southwest side of the Pittsburgh region. This was the region’s first major highway opening in more than 30 years.


The highway network of Pittsburgh is very outdated, due to the decline in population, there is less tax revenue to finance improvements. At key points, only 2×2 lanes are often available, such as tunnels. However, there are double-deck bridges. The motorway network is regularly in fairly poor condition and also has to deal with very tight junctions and connections, such as in the center. Nevertheless, the connections are very impressive with many narrow flyovers coming directly from double-deck bridges or tunnels.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania