There’s a long standing road project that’s about to open in Somerset County.
An 11-mile section of Route 219 opens next month. It’s expected to have a big impact on the economy of the surrounding region. It will also improve safety for motorists and residents. This Saturday, October 27th, PennDOT will host an information event between 10am and 2pm on a 3 mile section of the road.
Here’s the official news release from PennDOT and Governor Wolf’s office:
Wolf Administration Announces Forthcoming Opening for Long-Awaited, New Route 219 Section in Somerset County
Public Invited to Community Celebration Event
Hollidaysburg, PA – Today, the Wolf Administration announced that safety, economic development, and efficient travel will all be enhanced when the new 11-mile section of Route 219 in Somerset County opens next month.
“This new portion of roadway will provide motorists with a safer roadway, will help create economic development and creates connectivity between Somerset and Meyersdale,” said Governor Wolf. “This roadway will make the area a viable location for future development not only in Somerset County but surrounding counties as well.”
The new roadway section, anticipated to open the week of November 19, not only creates a safer connection between Somerset and Meyersdale, but also included extensive environmental mitigation and a wildlife crossing.
“Transportation is vital to communities’ economic vitality and quality of life, and the Route 219 project is a prime example,” Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “We are proud to complete this improvement for travelers and have partnered with the local communities to truly celebrate this accomplishment.”
This project has been in development since the 1970s when the initial right of way acquisition took place prior to the project going on hold based on available funding. Though design work occurred in the early 2000s, construction funding availability delayed the project until the federal transportation bill in 2012 made projects in the Appalachian Development Highway System (including this section of U.S. 219) eligible for 100 percent federal funding. With construction funded by 100 percent federal dollars, the project moved forward.
To mark the project’s significance to the communities connected by the new roadway section, this Saturday, October 27, PennDOT is partnering with various local officials, community groups, and businesses to feature unique aspects of the project and provide a forum for stakeholders to learn about and celebrate the project.
Community members are welcome to attend this exciting community event between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. A three-mile section of the newly paved Route 219 between the northern interchange at Berlin Plank Road and just past the Mud Pike interchange will be open to the public to walk, bike, or explore. Traffic will be permitted entrance on the southbound ramp of the northern interchange and will be permitted to park in designated parking areas on the northbound section of highway.