Archive for June, 2012

219 supporters urge passage of highway bill

June 22, 2012

The Tribune-Democrat (June 22, 2012)

SOMERSET — Signs reading “219 now” and “Pass the bill” dotted the crowd of about 50 people gathered outside the Somerset County Courthouse Friday to urge Congress to pass a highway bill.

“We want a transportation bill,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johns­town, the rally organizer.

“It means jobs for this county. It means Route 219 will be done in our lifetime.”

Read More

Delay Threatens Route 219

June 20, 2012

The Tribune-Democrat (June 20, 2012)

RALLY FOR ROUTE 219!

Congressman Mark Critz will rally local support for the Route 219 extension at 3:30 p.m. Friday on the Somerset County Courthouse steps!

“The completion of Route 219 to Meyersdale is dependent upon the Congress passing a new transportation bill,” said County Commissioner John Vatavuk.

The rally will send the message to the conference committee to pass the transportation bill before the deadline and include toll-credit language that will make the Route 219 project possible.

JOHNSTOWN — A partisan stalemate in Congress threatens to hold up funding and delay work on the Route 219 south project.

Although reports indicate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner met Tuesday with the two top negotiators on the long-stalled surface transportation measure, Congress-watchers are wondering whether the effort will move the entrenched talks forward.

Bringing in the top guns may not be enough, Associated General Contractors of America spokesman Brian Turmail told The Hill, a Washington newspaper that covers the government.

“If it required four people to get in a room to get a deal, we would’ve already had a deal,” Turmail told the newspaper.

Read More

Route 219 tops list of priority road projects in Somerset County

June 14, 2012

The Daily American (June 13, 2012)

SOMERSET COUNTY, PA — A four-lane Route 219 between Somerset and Meyersdale remains Somerset County’s top priority highway project.

“It always is,” Brad Zearfoss, director of the county planning commission, said at Southern Alleghenies Rural Planning Organization’s Transportation Improvement Program public hearing Wednesday.

Route 219 is on the 2013-16 TIP, but it requires $35 million in state matching funds, said Anne Stich, transportation program manager for Southern Alleghenies.

“Until we find matching funds, Route 219 can’t move to construction,” she said.

Read More