Pennsylvania Highways
Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System

The system was originally developed by Joseph White, an engineer with the Allegheny County Department of Public Works, in the late 1940's using a network of federal, state and municipal that would offer drivers an alternate routes that did not lead into the congested Golden Triangle.

The Belt System was not intended as high speed or limited access roads, but instead their purpose was to define a road system way from the major arteries and the congestion that they suffered.  The colors of the system are ordered like the colors in a rainbow with the outermost red, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  So if you cross one color, you have an idea of how close you are to downtown and whether you are heading towards or away from the central business district.  

The Interstate Highway construction and Parkway construction from the late 1950s though the early 1970s reduced the use and need of the Belt System.  However, as urban sprawl got a hold of Pittsburgh, the system helped to reduce the effects of suburban congestion.  Many of the roads selected more than fifty years ago, still play a key role in the transportation plans for Allegheny County.  Many of them that were chosen for the belts have gone from country lanes to urban collectors to urban arterials.


Blue Belt

Terminus 1: Complete circle
Terminus 2:
Length: 38 miles
Route
(clockwise):
McKees Rocks Bridge:  PA 51 to Tremon Avenue Approach
Tremon Avenue Approach:  McKees Rocks Bridge to California Avenue
California Avenue:  Tremon Avenue Approach to Benton Avenue
Benton Avenue:  California Avenue to Bascom Avenue
Bascom Avenue:  Benton Avenue to US 19
US 19:  Bascom Avenue to Ivory Avenue
Ivory Avenue:  US 19 to Evergreen and Peoples Plank Road
Evergreen and Peoples Plank Road:  Ivory Avenue to Babcock Boulevard
Babcock Boulevard:  Evergreen and Peoples Plank Road to Evergreen Road
Evergreen Road:  Babcock Boulevard to North Avenue
North Avenue:  Evergreen Road to Grant Avenue
Grant Avenue:  North Avenue to Ohio Street
Ohio Street:  Grant Avenue to PA 28
PA 28:  Ohio Street to the Highland Park Bridge
Highland Park Bridge:  PA 28 to PA 8
PA 8:  Highland Park Bridge to Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue:  PA 8 to Shady Avenue
Shady Avenue:  Fifth Avenue to Forward Avenue
Forward Avenue:  Shady Avenue to Beechwood Boulevard
Beechwood Boulevard:  Forward Avenue to Browns Hill Road
Browns Hill Road:  Beechwood Boulevard to the Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge
Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge:  Browns Hill Road to PA 837
PA 837:  Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge to Becks Run Road
Becks Run Road:  PA 837 to Biscayne Drive
Biscayne Drive:  Becks Run Road to Maytide Street
Maytide Street:  Biscayne Drive to PA 51
PA 51:  Maytide Street to PA 88
PA 88:  PA 51 to McNeilly Avenue
McNeilly Avenue:  PA 88 to Pioneer Avenue
Pioneer Avenue:  McNeilly Avenue to Truck US 19
Truck US 19:  Pioneer Avenue to Potomac Avenue
Potomac Avenue:  Truck US 19 to PA 121
PA 121:  Potomac Avenue to PA 50
PA 50:  PA 121 to Baldwick Road
Baldwick Road:  PA 50 to Crafton Boulevard
Crafton Boulevard:  Baldwick Road to Noble Avenue
Noble Avenue:  Crafton Boulevard to PA 60
PA 60:  Noble Avenue to Steuben Street
Steuben Street:  PA 60 to Union Avenue
Cross Street:  Union Avenue to Noble Avenue (counter-clockwise)
Union Avenue:  Steuben Street to Center Street
Noble Avenue:  Cross Street to PA 60 (counter-clockwise)
Center Street:  Union Avenue to Prospect Avenue
Prospect Avenue:  Center Street to Windgap Avenue
Windgap Avenue:  Prospect Avenue to Chartiers Avenue
Chartiers Avenue:  Windgap Avenue to PA 51
PA 51:  Chartiers Avenue to the McKees Rocks Bridge
Expressway: Exit 3 to Exit 6 of PA 28.
History: Signed in the late 1940s.  

In 1966, the belt took its current form between Truck US 19 and US 19 in Dormont.  Prior to that year, it followed Potomac Avenue, Dwight Avenue, and US 19 back to the intersection with Potomac.

In 1973, the route was moved from Kleber Street, Brighton Road, and Jacks Run Road to its current alignment between Benton Avenue and Bascom Street in Bellevue.  It was moved from Seavey Road, Parker Street, Butler Street, Bridge Street, and PA 8 between Evergreen Road and the Highland Park Bridge to its current alignment.  It was moved from Frankstown Road and Dallas Avenue to Fifth Avenue and Beechwood Boulevard between East Liberty and Squirrel Hill.

In 1974, the route was moved from Beechwood Boulevard onto the current alignment from Fifth Avenue to Browns Hill Road.  Signage was removed from PA 885, Glass Run Road, Churchview Avenue, Brownsville Road, and Maytide Street and placed on its current alignment between the Glenwood Bridge and Maytide Street.  In McKees Rocks, it was moved from Singer Avenue, Valley Street, Broadway, Seventh Street, and McCoy Road to the current alignment between Chartiers Avenue and PA 51.

In 1992, a leg of the belt which was signed on Shady Avenue and Monitor Street between Forward Avenue and Beechwood Boulevard was decommissioned.

Links: Allegheny Valley Expressway
Highland Park Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Homestead Grays/High Level Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
McKees Rocks Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh

Green Belt Terminus 1: PA 65 in Emsworth.
Terminus 2: PA 148 in McKeesport.
Length: 39 miles
Route
(clockwise):
Camp Horne Road:  PA 65 to Lowries Run Road
Lowries Run Road:  Camp Horne Road to Mount Nebo Road
Mount Nebo Road:  Lowries Run Road to Lowries Run Road
Lowries Run Road:  Mt. Nebo Road to Lowries Run-Rochester Road
Lowries Run-Rochester Road:  Lowries Run Road to Swickley-Oakmont Road
Swickley-Oakmont Road:  Lowries Run/Rochester Road to US 19
US 19:  Swickley-Oakmont Road to Babcock Boulevard
Babcock Boulevard:  US 19 to Peebles Road
Peebles Road:  Babcock Boulevard to Duncan Avenue
Duncan Avenue:  Peebles Road to PA 8
PA 8:  Duncan Avenue to Harts Run Road
Harts Run Road:  PA 8 to Dorseyville Road
Dorseyville Road:  Harts Run Road to Fox Chapel Road
Fox Chapel Road:  Dorseyville Road to Squaw Run East Road
Squaw Run East Road:  Fox Chapel Road to Fox Chapel Road
Fox Chapel Road:  Squaw Run East Road to PA 28
PA 28:  Fox Chapel Road to Highland Park Bridge
Highland Park Bridge:  PA 28 to PA 8
PA 8:  Highland Park Bridge to PA 130
PA 130:  PA 8 to Sandy Creek Road
Sandy Creek Road:  PA 130 to Verona Road
Verona Road:  Sandy Creek Road to Robinson Boulevard
Robinson Boulevard:  Verona Road to Montier Street
Montier Street:  Robinson Boulevard to Park Avenue
Park Avenue:  Montier Street to Swissvale Avenue
Swissvale Avenue:  Park Avenue to Edgewood Avenue
Edgewood Avenue:  Swissvale Avenue to Braddock Avenue
Braddock Avenue:  Edgewood Avenue to the Rankin Bridge
Rankin Bridge:  Braddock Avenue to PA 837
PA 837:  Rankin Bridge to the McKeesport Bridge
McKeesport Bridge:  PA 837 to PA 148
Expressway: Exit 6 to Exit 8 of PA 28.
History: Signed in the late 1940s.  Used Allegheny River Boulevard, Hulton Bridge, and Powers Run Road until the mid-1970s.  Ended at the Rankin Bridge until the mid-1970s, when the route took its present form.
Links: Allegheny Valley Expressway
Terminus of the Green Belt - Adam Prince

Orange Belt Terminus 1: PA 88 in Library.
Terminus 2: PA 51 in Elizabeth.
Length: 109 miles
Route
(clockwise):
PA 48:  PA 51 to Logan's Ferry Road
Logan's Ferry Road:  PA 48 to Monroeville and Trestle Road
Monroeville and Trestle Road:  Logan's Ferry Road to PA 380
PA 380:  Monroeville and Trestle Road to New Texas Road
New Texas Road:  PA 380 to Leechburg Road
Leechburg Road:  New Texas Road to Logan's Ferry Road
Logan's Ferry Road:  Leechburg Road to PA 366
PA 366:  Logan's Ferry Road to PA 56
PA 56:  PA 366 to Freeport Road
Freeport Road:  PA 56 to Crawford Run Road
Crawford Run Road:  Freeport Road to Russellton Airport Road
Russellton Airport Road:  Crawford Run Road to Creighton and Russellton Road
Creighton and Russellton Road:  Russellton Airport Road to Starr Road
Starr Road:  Creighton and Russellton Road to Bairdsford Road
Bairdsford Road:  Starr Road to Oak Road
Oak Road:  Bairdsford Road to PA 910
PA 910:  Oak Road to Bayne and Wexford Road
Bayne and Wexford Road:  PA 910 to Rochester Road
Rochester Road:  Bayne and Wexford Road to Campmeeting Road
Campmeeting Road:  Rochester Road to Farm Hollow Road
Farm Hollow Road:  Campmeeting Road to Oliver Road
Oliver Road:  Farm Hollow Road to Blackburn Road
Blackburn Road:  Oliver Road to Sewickley Bridge
Sewickley Bridge:  Blackburn Road to PA 51
PA 51:  Sewickley Bridge to Narrows Run Road
Narrows Run Road:  PA 51 to Cannot and Beers School Road
Beers School Road:  Narrows Run Road to Business PA 60
Business PA 60:  Beers School Road to PA 60
PA 60:  Business PA 60 to US 22/US 30
US 22/US 30:  PA 60 to McKee Road
McKee Road:  US 22/US 30 to PA 978
PA 978:  McKee Road to Battle Ridge Road
Battle Ridge Road:  PA 978 to Thoms Run Road
Thoms Run Road:  Battle Ridge Road to Oakdale Road
Oakdale Road:  Thoms Run Road to Prestley Road
Prestley Road:  Oakdale Road to PA 50
PA 50:  Prestley Road to Bower Street
Bower Street:  PA 50 to McLaughlin Run Road
McLaughlin Run Road:  Bower Street to McMurray Road
McMurray Road:  McLaughlin Run Road to Clifton Road
Clifton Road:  McMurray Road to PA 88
Expressway: US 22/US 30 from the Oakdale exit to PA 60
PA 60 to Business PA 60
Business PA 60 to University Boulevard
History: Signed in the late 1940s.  The route originally followed Enlow Road near the airport, Mahoney Road in the western part of the county, Little Deer Creek Valley Road and Crawford Run Road through the northern sections of the county.  The designation was moved from these routes in the mid-1970s.  The designation changed to follow US 22/US 30 and PA 60 in 1972.  This belt was originally a complete circle, stretching into Washington County via Lovedale Road, Glassport and Elizabeth Road, PA 51, PA 837, Elrama Avenue, Finleyville-Elrama Road, to PA 88 and onward to its current terminus in Library.  This section was eliminated in the mid-1970s.  This belt still enters Westmoreland County, which makes it the only belt to enter another county besides Allegheny.
Links: Airport Parkway
US 22
US 30
Terminus of the Orange Belt - Adam Prince

Purple Belt Terminus 1: Complete circle.
Terminus 2:
Length: 3 miles
Route
(clockwise):
Stanwix Street:  Boulevard of the Allies to Liberty Avenue
Liberty Avenue:  Stanwix Street to Grant Street
Grant Street:  Liberty Avenue to the Boulevard of the Allies
Boulevard of the Allies:  Grant Street to Stanwix Street
History: Signed in 1995 when the Pittsburgh Wayfinder System was introduced.  This route is also referred to as the Cultural Loop, because it passes through the central business district of Pittsburgh.  This belt is the only one under the jurisdiction of the City of Pittsburgh Department of Engineering and Construction.
Expressway: None
Links: City of Pittsburgh Department of Engineering and Construction
Pittsburgh Wayfinder System - Bruce Cridlebaugh

Red Belt Terminus 1: PA 65 in Leetsdale.
Terminus 2: Seventh Avenue in Tarentum.
Length: 33 miles
Route
(clockwise):
Cross Street:  PA 65 to Main Street
Main Street:  Cross Street to Ambridge Avenue
Ambridge Avenue:  Main Street to Big Sewickley Creek Road
Big Sewickley Creek Road:  Ambridge Avenue to Warrendale-Bayne Road
Warrendale-Bayne Road:  Big Sewickley Creek Road to Warrendale-Bakerstown Road
Warrendale-Bakerstown Road:  Warrendale-Bayne Road to Bakerstown-Warrendale Road
Bakerstown-Warrendale Road:  Warrendale-Bakerstown Road to Babcock Boulevard
Babcock Boulevard:  Bakerstown-Warrendale Road to Warrendale-Bakerstown Road
Warrendale-Bakerstown Road:  Babcock Boulevard to Bakerstown-Culmersville Road
Bakerstown-Culmersville Road:  Warrendale-Bakerstown Road to Bakerstown Road
Bakerstown Road:  Bakerstown-Culmersville Road to Bull Creek Road
Bull Creek Road:  Bakerstown Road to PA 366
PA 366:  Bull Creek Road to Seventh Avenue
Expressway: None
History: Signed in the late 1940s.  The western terminus and eastern terminus were moved to their current locations in 1974.  The original western terminus was at PA 51 in Aliquippa via the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge, 11th Street, Duss Avenue, Merchant Street, and Beaver Street.  The eastern terminus was moved to its present location from the Freeport Road/Leechburg Road intersection in Lower Burrell.
Links: Terminus of the Red Belt - Adam Prince

Yellow Belt Terminus 1: Complete circle.
Terminus 2:
Length: 76 miles
Route
(clockwise):
I-79:  Grand Avenue to Mount Nebo Road
Mount Nebo Road:  I-79 to Arndt Road
Arndt Road:  Mount Nebo Road to Reis Run Road
Reis Run Road:  Arndt Road to Ingomar Heights Road
Ingomar Heights Road:  Reis Run Road to Ingomar Road
Wildwood Road:  Ingomar Road to Wildwood Road Extension
Wildwood Road Extension:  Wildwood Road to Middle Road
Middle Road:  Wildwood Road Extension to Cedar Ridge Road
Cedar Ridge Road:  Middle Road to PA 910
PA 910:  Cedar Ridge Road to Freeport Road
Freeport Road:  PA 910 to the Hulton Bridge
Hulton Bridge:  Freeport Road to Hulton Road
Hulton Road:  Hulton Bridge to PA 380
PA 380:  Hulton Road to PA 791
PA 791:  PA 380 to Business US 22
Business US 22:  PA 791 to Rodi Road
Rodi Road:  Business US 22 to Thompson Run Road
Thompson Run Road:  Rodi Road to Larimar Avenue
Larimar Avenue:  Thompson Run Road to Thompson Street
Thompson Street:  Larimar Avenue to PA 130
PA 130:  Thompson Street to Patton Street
Patton Street:  PA 130 to the Wilmerding Bridge
Wilmerding Bridge:  Patton Street to Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue:  Wilmerding Bridge to PA 148
PA 148:  Fifth Avenue to Truck PA 148
Truck PA 148:  PA 148 to West Fifth Avenue
West Fifth Avenue:  Truck PA 148 to the W. D. Mansfield Bridge
W. D. Mansfield Bridge:  West Fifth Avenue to Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard
Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard:  W. D. Mansfield Bridge to Lebanon Church Road
Lebanon Church Road:  Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard to PA 885
PA 885:  Lebanon Church Road to Lebanon Church Road
Lebanon Church Road:  PA 885 to Curry Hollow Road
Curry Hollow Road:  Lebanon Church Road to Brownsville Road
Brownsville Road:  Curry Hollow Road to Broughton Road
Broughton Road:  Brownsville Road to PA 88
PA 88:  Broughton Road to Connor Road
Connor Road:  PA 88 to US 19
US 19:  Connor Road to PA 121
PA 121:  US 19 to Greentree Road
Greentree Road:  PA 121 to Hope Hollow Road
Hope Hollow Road:  Greentree Road to PA 50
PA 50:  Hope Hollow Road to Sanbury Avenue
Sanbury Avenue:  PA 50 to Mansfield Boulevard
Mansfield Boulevard:  Sanbury Avenue to Highland Avenue
Highland Avenue:  Mansfield Boulevard to Chartiers Street
Chartiers Street:  Highland Avenue to Campbells Run Road
Campbells Run Road:  Chartiers Street to PA 60
PA 60:  Campbells Run Road to Beaver Grade Road
Beaver Grade Road:  PA 60 to Silver Lane
Silver Lane:  Beaver Grade Road to Forest Grove Road
Forest Grove Road:  Silver Lane to PA 51
PA 51:  Forest Grove Road to Neville Island Bridge/Ferree Street
Neville Island Bridge/Ferree Street:  PA 51 to Grand Avenue
Grand Avenue:  Neville Island Bridge to I-79
Expressway: Exit 64 to Exit 68 of I-79
History: Signed in the late 1940s.  Originally it was signed on McMichael Road and Church Hill Road between Campbells Run Road and PA 60 in Robinson.  In 1973, the belt was moved to its current route between those two points.

In 2002, it became the first belt to be signed on an Interstate when it was moved from PA 51, Sewickley Bridge, PA 65, Kilbuck Street, and Glenfield Road to PA 51, Ferree Street, Neville Island Bridge, Grand Avenue, and I-79 between PA 51 and Mount Nebo Road.

Links: Interstate 79
Hulton Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
Sewickley Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh
W. D. Mansfield Bridge - Bruce Cridlebaugh

Links:
Pittsburgh Highways
Allegheny County Department of Public Works
Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System - Bruce Cridlebaugh

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Page updated October 03, 2006.
Content and graphics, unless otherwise noted, copyright © Jeffrey J. Kitsko. All rights reserved.
Belt system shields courtesy of Bruce Cridlebaugh.
Information courtesy of Allegheny County Department of Public Works, Rand McNally, Pittsburgh Figured Out atlas, Steve Smallhoover, and Bruce Cridlebaugh.