First phase of Rt. 219 expansion project underway

Posted on September 5th, 2013

The Ripon Advance (September 5, 2013)

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) recently announced that a five-year construction project on U.S. Rt. 219 that will improve road safety and create 9,000 new jobs throughout his district has broken ground.

The project entails expanding the route to four lanes and adding new intersections. The first phase of construction is taking place in Somerset County, Pa.

“The Rt. 219 expansion is about more than just a wider highway,” Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said. “This project is essential for future generations to have a better way of life and will open the region to greater economic prosperity with the added commerce it will bring.”

Funding for the construction will come from a dedicated federal reserve associated with the completion of the Appalachian Highway Development System. The federal funds are available through a bill championed by Shuster called the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act that was signed into law in July. No state funds will be used for the expansion.

“Extending 219 to Meyersdale is an important infrastructure investment and will help grow the economy, attract businesses, and add jobs in our region,” Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.) said. “This project could not have happened without the perseverance and leadership of Chairman Shuster, our local elected officials, and so many other members of the community.”

By Julie Harrison
The Ripon Advance