Top Mega Projects in Pennsylvania, United States of America

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These are the mega projects in Pennsylvania, a U.S. state that is officially known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and which spans the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, and Appalachian regions of the United States of America.

Shell Petrochemicals Complex Project

This is a $6 billion project that is being developed by Shell Chemical Appalachia in Beaver county with the goal of producing 1.6 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of polyethylene, through the use of low-cost ethane that will be supplied by shale gas producers around the Marcellus and Utica basins.

Construction on the Shell Petrochemicals Complex started in 2016 and the ethane cracker is the largest part of this facility, consisting of a 153km of pipeline and over 200 components. The facility will feature various types of infrastructure which include a water treatment plant, laboratory, office building, and 250MW natural gas-fired power plant.

In addition, the site of the Shell Petrochemicals Complex will also house three diesel-fired fire pumps, four diesel-fired emergency generator engines, and a 900ft cooling tower, consisting of 28 cell counter-flow mechanical drafts, with a   water-flow capacity of 4.44 million gallons per hour.

Esplanade mixed-use project

Located along the Ohio River, on the northern side of River Casino and the west end bridge in the Chateau neighbourhood of Pittsburgh, the 1.22-million-square-foot Esplanade mixed-use project is aimed at converting a collection of underutilized industrial brownfield sites into a transit-oriented district, consisting of a wide variety of developments including affordable housing.

Environmental and recreational improvements are also planned for Esplanade. These improvements would include relocating and enhancing the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, stabilizing and re-vegetating the river’s edge, restoring native plants, cultivating green infrastructure, and maintaining active and passive open space.

The open space will house retail kiosks to be used as incubators, splash park & ice-skating amenities, an amphitheater for local performances, and historical/educational placards with emphasis on local figures and events.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) expansion project

This is a $2 billion expansion project announced by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC). The project involves the construction of three hospitals namely UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, UPMC Hillman Cancer Hospital, and the UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation.

These hospitals were planned to be developed in stages, starting with the UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation, and now the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital is the next in line to begin construction. According to the developers, this new 636-bed specialty heart and transplant hospital is expected to take about four years to reach completion and is scheduled to open in the latter part of 2026.

The development site of the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital is located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and DeSoto Street and it will contain the 17-story high tower hospital building, which will occupy over 871,000 square feet, along with  4,800 square feet of retail and restaurant spaces, and ample parking space for up to 450 cars. The development will also feature public art installations and green spaces on the roof terrace.

Hazelwood Green Project

This is a project that is set to transform the 178-acre site of a former Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. industrial plant in Pittsburgh into a mixed-use neighbourhood. The project’s site is situated along the banks of the Monongahela River, stretching across Tecumseh Street, to the intersection of Blair Street and Second Avenue in Hazelwood.

The Hazelwood Green mixed-use property will consist of thousands of affordable and market-rate housing units, dense offices and tech spaces, open spaces, and parks, including several restaurants and retail outlets. The Preliminary Land Development Plan for the site includes about 30 acres of urban open space and 98 acres of land for development.

In addition, the mixed-use development will also include a Robotics Innovation Center for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). The developer expects this building to open in 2024.

Firefly Solar Project

Developed by Vesper Energy, a leading North American developer, owner, and operator of utility-scale renewable energy and energy storage assets, Firefly is a 200-megawatt solar power plant that is being built on the lands of farmers located in North Beaver Township in Lawrence County.

The power generated from the Firefly solar power plant will be supplied to the existing utility lines and according to Vesper’s economic impact analysis, the solar project is expected to create more than 300 employment opportunities during its construction phase; generate US$ 1.6M per annum in the form of municipal, county, state, and school taxes; and the project will also provide up to US$ 10M in total economic activity in Lawrence County per year, over the course of its 40-year lifespan.

Major Bridge P3 Project

The Major Bridge P3 project will involve the repair or replacement of about nine selected bridges across Pennsylvania. These projects include the I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement project (Berks County); I-79 Widening, Bridges and Bridgeville Interchange Reconfiguration (Allegheny County); I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges (Clarion County); I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges (Luzerne County); I-80 North Fork Bridges Project (Jefferson County); I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridge Project (Luzerne and Carbon counties); I-81 Susquehanna Project (Susquehanna County); I-83 South Bridge Project (Dauphin County); and I-95 Girard Point Bridge Improvement Project (Philadelphia County).

Each of these bridges will be grouped in different packages. All associated infrastructure investments associated with any specific bridge will be covered, along with roadway and approach work, improvements to affected roadways within the vicinity, and the associated tolling infrastructure, which includes toll buildings for each bridge, as well as gantry structures.

The Major Bridge P3 Project is developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in conjunction with a selection of Bridging Pennsylvania Partners (BPP) through a Public-Private Partnership.

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) Terminal Modernization Project

This is an ongoing US$ 1.4bn PIT Terminal Modernization project that was first announced by PIT in September 2017 with an aim to create a new consolidated terminal, which would provide modernized hub facilities, fuel the region’s future development, lower long-term costs for airlines, offer better passenger services, and also evoke the essence of Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) Terminal Modernization Project will cover the construction of a new 700,000-square-foot terminal that will include ticketing, security checkpoints, and baggage claim. The development will also involve building a 3,300-capacity parking garage, rental car facilities, and new roadways.

Upon completion, the project is expected to deliver a smart and efficient airport for the Pittsburgh area that reflects and serves its community, inspires the field of aviation, and advances the region’s role as a world leader.

New Hopkins D.C. Facility Renovation project

This project seeks to regenerate the site of a former Newseum building, located on 555 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C into a world-class academic building for the John Hopkins University. 

Structural and architectural designs for the new Hopkins D.C. facility include several modifications, which will introduce more sunlight into the building’s façade, reconfigure existing floor plates for increased square footage, modify the building systems to support the academic efforts of the university, as well as its sustainability and accessibility goals.

The new design emphasizes more on flexibility and uses a responsive approach to fit the needs of multiple programs and emerging pedagogies. Upon completion, the new 420,000 square foot Hopkins D.C. facility will consist of classrooms, conferencing rooms, offices, and media suites. Other prominent outdoor features at the building’s atrium include a “room bridge”, a cascading “room stair”, a “beach” for informal gatherings, as well as a theatre, which will house about 370 seats and pre-function space.

Shawnee-Walker Transmission line project

Met-Ed and MAIT,  a First Energy company, are working on this project which seeks to run a 69-kV transmission line between Shawnee and Walker in the eastern region of Pennsylvania.

The project is expected to enhance the functionality of the current 34.5 KV electric system in eastern Pennsylvania by reducing its load, providing additional capacity for the area and also accommodating future growth. In addition, a direct transmission source will be provided from the transmission line to the four existing substations within the project’s vicinity to help minimize power outages.

Margaritaville Resort Village Project

This is a US$ 1.3bn hotel project developed by Margaritaville Hotels and Resorts in Monroe County. The project will bring the first resort village to the Poconos mountains, consisting of a hotel, an RV campsite, up to 1,000 rental cottages, some townhomes, along with a new Amtrak stop. 

The Margaritaville Resort village complex which is set to be delivered in 2024, will offer four different options for visitors to make their selection from. These options include a Margaritaville Hotel, the Tiny Homes Bungalows, a winter experience and the Camp Margaritaville RV Resort.

It will also have amenities such as golf carts, covered changing stations, hot tubs, hammocks and fire pits, in addition, to attractions such as a LandShark Tube Slide Runs and a License to Chill Ice Pond, along with an ice bar, coffee and hot chocolate stand.