Regarding the QR ramp expansion, I can add a little insight.
it was a compromise solution due to a combination of cost and operability. There is a large hill immediately west of the QR/Cargo 3 ramp. Some day when that area west of the QR ramp is finally developed, that hill will be removed. That expansion is on paper but will not be done on speculation due in part to the cost of removing that hill. There is not enough room to taxi a 777 on the ramp behind UPS to exit the ramp via A1. With the hill in place to the west of the ramp, pushing straight back off of the ramp to an extended taxiway as mentioned above would require about twice as much pavement as the current angled expansion of A. The current setup was designed to allow pushback tail west to the southwest corner of the ramp then a pull forward out onto A for engine start. This was to avoid engine start immediately in front of that hill. The concern was that breakaway thrust would send dirt and debris up over the crest of the hill toward Dick's and in addition that brisk westerly winds would then send that debris back over the aircraft creating a FOD issue.
The angled taxiway solves both the issue of getting past UPS and avoiding the FOD fear while simultaneously being considerably less expensive than the other option.
In a perfect world, taxiway A would be extended due west with a 90 degree access to Cargo 3 as indicated above. Eventually that will likely happen. Given the enormous amount of investment already going into the QR project it was a reasonable design compromise. Even as it is, its a pretty tight maneuver getting off that ramp.
So the oddball alignment of the "A" extension comes down to cost, just like I thought. Thanks for the confirmation.
Its a shame they did not reconstruct a proper ramp for Cargo A, and then they go ahead and use it for non-aviation purposes. If it was available for what it was intended for then it could have saved the $7-8 million that was spent on this project for QR. Then to redo this taxiway extension in the future will again cost more than necessary.
I suppose they could just extend the ramp of Cargo 3 all the way south to where the originally planned taxiway "A" was to be, essentially making the originally planned "A" a taxilane on the ramp. This way the "A" dogleg extension would not go to waste as it would form part of an extended ramp. This has the added benefit of making all of Cargo 3 compatible for Group V (B777) and VI aircraft (B748f). I don't see why QR Cargo could not serve ORD with the B-748f in the future; in that case we would see that aircraft as well assuming we are still served as all at that point.
Not expanding to the west on speculation makes sense if removing the hill is going to increase the cost. However, there is still the PIT Int'l Logistics Centre on the other side of that hill with pad ready sites ready to build on. Perhaps the ACAA should put up a spec building there if they are going to be serious about developing a logistics industry. It took IND and LCK decades to get where they are.
I had heard the reason UPS did not take the entire Cargo 3 is because the lease rates at PIT are the highest in their entire global system. I find that hard to believe.... but then look at the landing fees they charge signatory cargo airlines:http://www.flypittsburgh.com/getattachment/Doing-Business/Fees-Rates-and-Charges-11-20-2018.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US
The cargo carriers already pay more in landing fees than their passenger counterparts due to the use of larger aircraft. Then the ACAA charges more per 1,000 pounds on top of it?!?! That's ridiculous considering PIT's high fees are due to the terminal construction which has nothing to do with the cargo carriers.