Route 219 Project Will Create Jobs, Make Major Infrastructure Improvements in Western Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the U.S. Army Corps to expedite permits for the Route 219 project. Work on 219 received the green light after Congress passed a transportation bill, but the final permits are still under review.
In his letter, Senator Casey called on the Army Corps to quickly approve the project’s permits. The Route 219 project possesses the potential for major job creation and will mean significant infrastructure upgrades for Western Pennsylvania.
“It took a long time and a lot of hard work to get the Route 219 project to this point, and it’s time that the final approvals are in place so it can move forward,” Senator Casey said. “The Route 219 project will create jobs and make major improvements to Western Pennsylvania’s infrastructure, so I’m encouraging the Army Corps to expedite the review of these permits so work can begin.”
Senator Casey fought to get the Route 219 project to this point. In the Congressional transportation bill, a Casey provision provided states with more flexibility as they use their transportation resources. Senator Casey’s provision allowed toll credits to fund Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) projects. The measure also allows the federal cost share on ADHS projects to increase from 80% to 100%. With the project nearly ready to start, Senator Casey is pushing the Army Corps to expedite the project’s permits.
The full text of Casey’s letter to the Army Corps can be seen below:
District Engineer, Colonel William Graham
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District
Dear Colonel Graham,
I write to urge you to expedite the approval process for three water management permits that would allow construction to begin on routes to access Route 219. It is my understanding that the current timeframe for permit approval is approximately four months. In order for the project to move forward, I respectfully ask you to speed up the review of these permits and approve them as soon as possible.
Pending permits are for the creation of an 11 mile four lane stretch of highway that links to 219 which runs to Johnstown and north to Ebensburg. This would replace a dangerous two lane road. This project has already been stalled for years due to funding constraints but now is ready to begin pending permit approval.
I stand ready to assist you with this process. Thank you for your attentions to my concerns.
Robert P. Casey Jr.
United States Senator