The time is now for Route 219

Posted on February 21st, 2012

James Phillips, President and CEO, Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance

Western Pennsylvania needs new jobs, increased economic development, connections and safe roads! These goals can be accomplished by completing Route 219 to become the region’s only north-south highway.

A landmark piece of legislation currently before Congress known as the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act” includes language that will allow toll credits to be used for construction financing in Pennsylvania. If this Act passes, toll credits will fund the next stage of Route 219 construction between Somerset and Meyersdale in Pennsylvania. These toll credits would be used as the $35 million state match for the $350 million construction total and could begin almost immediately.

Congressman Bill Shuster, a diligent supporter of Route 219/Continental 1, says a completed Route 219 will not only link Pennsylvania to Maryland, it will open up a direct north-south transportation corridor between Washington, D.C. and communities in Somerset and Bedford counties.

New markets for goods and services will open, and with them, the promise of economic development and job creation. Studies have shown that a completed Route 219 will create upwards of 20,000 new permanent jobs for our region.

Momentum for the entire Continental 1 corridor from Toronto to Miami is building as Maryland has funds earmarked for completion of their two-mile portion of the route. New York is fighting for state funds to complete their 20-mile section of the corridor.

In a recent Zogby poll, 84 percent of key decision makers along the Corridor in Pennsylvania and New York supported the completion of the Route 219 highway.

Completing Route 219 in Pennsylvania means that area companies can produce, service, warehouse and distribute products and people more efficiently. Families and students will travel more effectively, patients will access medical services and businesses will grow. Now is the time.

Completing 219 will create a safer highway, jobs and economic prosperity.