WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a grant of more than $13.5 million to PennDOT for improvements to I-80 interchanges 298 and 299.
“In addition to improving public safety, this grant will help to create a significant number of jobs in the region and directly benefit businesses in the Poconos,” said Senator Casey. “This project will play a crucial role in relieving congestion while improving safety on Interstate 80. This is a smart investment in infrastructure that is vital to the economic growth of the region.”
“This project will improve access to draw more visitors and business to the region,” said Chuck Leonard, Executive Director of the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation. “This grant will make the region an even more attractive area for businesses to grow and create jobs. Senator Casey and his staff worked tirelessly to protect this project in a very difficult environment. We wish to thank him for his persistence and enthusiastic support. We must also recognize our private sector partners and the Commissioners of Monroe County. Without their financial support we could not have remained eligible for this funding.”
Funds will be used to construct additional lanes at I-80 interchanges 298 and 299 and install traffic signals on SR-715 at the junction of I-80. At the request of local officials, Senator Casey secured a technical correction to this project in 2008 that specifies funding must be used on or in the vicinity of interchanges 298 and 299.
Funding is available through the Projects of National and Regional Significance program of the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), a grant program that funds projects with the ability to generate national economic benefits, reduce congestion, improve safety, enhance the national transportation system and help maintain or protect the environment.
Senator Casey wrote a letter to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in May requesting that FHWA expedite its approval of this project.