Continental 1 to Host Ebensburg-Carrolltown Route 219 Stakeholders Session

Posted on September 21st, 2015

On Friday, October 9, Continental 1, the advocacy organization pushing for the completion of Route 219 as part of a 1,500-mile trade corridor linking Toronto to Miami, will host a roundtable discussion for stakeholders and interested parties. The meeting will be the first in an effort to create a “Compete 219” association in the Ebensburg-Carrolltown area, emulating similar associations that have achieved success in McKean County, Somerset County and Cattaraugus County (NY).

“While Continental 1 is certainly a grand vision, the success we’ve achieved has come through the avid support of residents and business at the local level,” said Henry Cook, president and CEO of Somerset Trust Co., Continental 1’s board president. “We have tremendous momentum in the effort to complete Route 219, especially in Pennsylvania, and now we’re ready to engage more communities in the effort as we chip away at the project.”

In Pennsylvania, an 11-mile section of Route 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset is currently in Phase II of construction.  In Bradford, the Complete 219 group launched in November 2014 to assesses trouble spots along the highway for possible PENNDOT investment to improve safety and mobility. In between those two projects is the next advocacy area for the Continental 1 group.

“Because of the way that highway projects such as Route 219 are funded, it is critical that the groundwork for a successful advocacy campaign begins now,” said Cook. “When Congress ultimately agrees upon a funding mechanism for the nation’s infrastructure, many projects will be in line for funding. Supporters and stakeholders of completing Route 219 must begin to make their case now, so we’re ready for the conversation when it happens.”

The October 9 session, which will be hosted by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Ebensburg Center, 881 Hills Plaza Drive, Suite 450, Ebensburg beginning at 8:30 a.m., is open to all interested parties and stakeholders wishing to learn more about Continental 1 and the #Compete219 initiative, and will kick off a community discussion around the topic. Those wishing to participate are asked to RSVP to mlauerman@continental1.org.

“There are various options on how to approach the next section of Route 219, and it’s imperative that the community be leading that discussion at a grassroots level,” Cook said. “Complete 219 associations in other communities along the corridor have had great success at steering and accomplishing the agenda, and we’re looking forward to what comes out of this conversation on October 9.”

More information on the initiative to complete Route 219 can be found at www.continental1.org.