Maryland official questions PennDOT’s resolve to complete Route 219 from Meyersdale to Maryland

Posted on October 23rd, 2012

Daily American Reporter (October 23, 2012)

Somerset commissioners ask governor to attend meeting

SOMERSET COUNTY— With construction on the missing 12-mile section of Route 219 between Somerset and Meyersdale scheduled to begin next year, the southern section from Meyersdale to Maryland has become the focus.

Dave Moe, coordinator of the North/South Appalachian Highway Coalition, told the Somerset County commissioners Tuesday that the group has written to Gov. Tom Corbett and state Department of Transportation officials requesting their attendance at its third annual meeting. The meeting will be held at noon Nov. 1 at Morguen Toole Co., 130 Center St., Meyersdale. The commissioners said they will send a letter to the governor’s office and support the coalition’s request.

Moe said the coalition is frustrated because now that federal funds to complete the southern section are available without a state match — a holdup for many years — the highway project seems to be on hold.

“Maryland is so fed up with PennDOT’s reluctance in moving ahead,” he said.

A PennDOT project manager said there is no reluctance.

“We have all of our attention to get this first section under construction,” Greg Illig, project manager for PennDOT District 9, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “We hadn’t put a whole lot of focus on the southern section just because of the magnitude of the first section. Our plan is to regroup and take a look at how to proceed with the southern section once the design is complete and we get it out to the construction community.”

He said PennDOT will have a representative at the Meyersdale meeting.

“We did focus on both sections up until 2008 and had several development options for the southern section, but we put it on hold when there was a lack of funding,” he said. “Since the change in (federal) legislation passed this summer that no longer requires a state match, we will again focus on the southern section.”

The North/South Appalachian Highway includes routes 219 and 220 into Maryland.

Judy D. J. Ellich
Daily American Reporter