Completion of Route 219 is gaining momentum

Posted on January 1st, 2012

Meg Lauerman’s Letter to Editor of  Springville Journal (December 28, 2011)

The completion of Route 219 in Western New York and Western Pennsylvania is the most important economic development catalyst that will ensure a successful, sustainable region. Businesses will stay and they will start. Jobs will be created and students will remain in our region. Finishing Route 219 has moved back into the forefront as we await the New York state January budget vote. Continental 1/Route 219 will be our region’s only north-south highway.

Concerned citizens and business leaders are urging Governor Cuomo to approve funding for the $6 million Route 219 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and the completion of Route 219 in the long-term capital budget in January. Until the SEIS is complete, the project is stalled. At www.continental1.org, individuals can link to government officials and join the fight to get the project completed. Prior to the vote, community leaders, business owners and students will flood Albany’s hallways in a show of support for long-term construction funding for Route 219.

Recent developments have created momentum:

– The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council’s Binational/Logistics Working Group has identified completion of Route 219 as a transformational project. A goal of WNY’s REDC is to reinforce the region as a primary hub in the global logistics network.

– In a recent Zogby poll, 84 percent of key decision makers along the corridor in New York and Pennsylvania supported the completion of the highway.

– Pennsylvania is moving to release $350 million in construction financing to complete the Somerset portion of Route 219. Maryland has funds earmarked for completion of their 2-mile portion of the route.

Completing Route 219 means that companies can move products and people more efficiently, families and students will travel quicker and safer, patients will access medical services and businesses will grow. Western New Yorkers, tell Governor Cuomo to fund Route 219 construction to create safe roads, jobs and economic prosperity.

Meg Lauerman
Project manager
Continental 1