Senator Pat Stefano (R-Fayette/Somerset/Westmoreland), Representative Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Somerset/Bedford), and Representative Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) welcomed yesterday’s announcement that $6 million in funding has been allocated through the Appalachian Program Development (APD) System to resume environmental studies to upgrade Somerset County’s last remaining two-lane section of U.S. 219 to a four-lane limited access highway.
“For too many years, we have fought to finalize the expansion of the last remaining stretch of U.S. 219.,” Stefano said. “I am pleased to say that today the cycle of needing federal funding to continue, but being unable to secure federal funding without progress, has ended. The dedicated $6 million opens the door to additional federal funding needed to complete this critical project.”
“I’m thrilled to see progress being made on this project. With our economy having suffered greatly due to COVID-19 closure orders, this expansion will go a long way in stimulating economic growth throughout the region,” said Metzgar. “I look forward to continuing work on this project and securing funding for its construction and completion.”
“This brings us one step closer to completing the last five and a half miles of Route 219 through the 51st Legislative District. This project is vital to the safety and economic development of our communities. Salisbury and surrounding Volunteer Fire Companies are being stretched thin assisting with safety calls and accidents,” said Dowling. “I am glad that safety was recognized as a necessity and thank the Secretary for her support.”
As part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, U.S. 219 qualifies for federal funding, which was created in 1965 as a way of funding corridor projects that would provide access to regional and national markets, contributing to growth opportunities and improved access in Appalachia.
The studies are intended to advance the portion of U.S. 219 from the southern end of the Meyersdale Bypass to the northern end of the soon-to-be completed U.S. 219/Interstate 68 interchange near Old Salisbury Road in Maryland.