New Fiber Optic Network to Boost Connectivity Along the Pennsylvania Turnpike

Black & Veatch, a market-leading designer and builder of high-speed fiber networks, has been chosen by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) to install a new fiber optic network along more than 200 miles of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (PA Turnpike), the company said.

When completed, the network will boost connectivity between the PTC´s administrative buildings and support All-Electronic Tolling (AET), and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for safety and mobility along this heavily travelled highway. It will also prepare the Turnpike to support emerging technologies for smart roadways and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs).

Black & Veatch was awarded two contracts to develop the first and second phases of the Turnpike´s network upgrade, which will also provide the PTC with a revenue-generating opportunity by installing extra fiber and conduits for commercialization it can lease to outside organizations.

The first phase involves a USD 44.7 million fiber optic design-build stretching from Harrisburg to the Delaware River Bridge. The USD 49.7 million second phase of the upgrade is planned for PTC´s Northeastern Extension connecting Philadelphia, Allentown and Scranton. These projects will provide high-speed data communications at the roadway where it is needed, supporting the Open Road Tolling initiative (gantries above the roadway) and the ITS program, positioning the Turnpike to meet its communication needs of the future.

Led by Black & Veatch Construction, Inc., fiber will be installed using a process known as microtrenching, which overcomes the challenges of the Turnpike´s often rocky topography by installing the line within the roadway´s shoulder. The process allows for a quicker installation and helps minimize impacts to Turnpike customers.

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure.

The PA Turnpike will celebrate 80 years of operations in October, and over those eight decades it has received nationwide acclaim as an engineering marvel. Visit to learn more.