Pennsylvania state officials said the Appalachian Program Development (APD) has earmarked $6 million in federal funding to aid the resumption of environmental studies regarding the U.S. 219 expansion.
Authorities indicated the effort seeks to upgrade Somerset County’s last remaining two-lane section of U.S. 219 to a four-lane limited access highway.
“Continuing work on this important corridor is critical,” Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “Improving this section of roadway will not only create a safer connection between Somerset and Interstate 68 but will also help spur economic growth for the entire region.”
Because U.S. 219 is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, it qualifies for federal APD funding, officials said. The initiative was formed 55 years ago as a means of funding corridor projects providing access to regional and national markets, resulting in growth opportunities and improved access in Appalachia.
The studies are slated to advance U.S. 219 from the southern end of the Meyersdale Bypass to the northern end of the nearly completed U.S. 219 / Interstate 68 interchange near Old Salisbury Road in Maryland, officials said.
While project design funds have been secured, no construction funds have presently been identified. PennDOT emphasized the need for federal, state and local entities to work closely on future funding solutions supporting Pennsylvania’s infrastructure needs.