Great News! Barry Kiedrowski, Chief, Project Management Division, Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering, MD SHA, attended our June 26th N/S Core Work Group meeting and presented the following information regarding the structure of the PEL Agreement on the last remaining section of Rt. 219 from Meyersdale, PA to I-68.  Click here to view the presentation.




Our Timeline
2014 – 2009

2014

  • January 9 – Attended Mineral County Days event in Charleston, WV.  Met with Governor Tomblin and other members of the WV Delegation after meeting with Transportation representatives who indicated no funds are earmarked for the Tier 2 Study.
  • January 17 – Seeking written support of the Mineral County Commissioners and Mineral County (WV) key employers including ATK/Rocket Center, IBM, Automated Packaging, Potomac Valley Hospital, Potomac State University and NewPage to encourage legislators to reconsider this position.
  • January 23 – Met with the Honorable Secretary James T. Smith (MD-Transportation) and Assistant Administrator Doug Simmons (SHA), both of whom provided a timeline for specific milestones on both the 219/220 legs during the annual PACE event in Annapolis.
  • January 30 – Met with members of the PA Delegation at the offices of the Somerset County Commissioners (Representative Tim Mahoney, Jordan Frei (Representative Mike Reese), and Representative Dando (via telephone) to provide an update on the project’s status and areas where there future support is needed.
  • April 1 – Traveled to D.C. with representatives of the North/South Core Work Group and Coalition to meet with senior staff of Congressman Shuster and Senators Casey and Toomey, as well as Congressman Rothfus to discuss the following key issues:
    • Appropriation and Obligation Limitation for transportation funds as allocated by the Congressional Budget Office,
    • Allow ARC States the ability to contribute State Transportation Funds with Federal Funds for completion of their respective Appalachian Highways.
    • (and) encourage consideration that the current expiration for ADHS funding exceeds the 2021 date outlined in their “Plan to Complete” document.
  • April 14 – Traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to meet with Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch to:
    • Present business support letters by Commissioner John Vatavuk (Somerset County)
      • Discuss and remind of previous actions by Governor Ed Rendell, in which he provided a willingness to fund the State match portion of Somerset to Meyersdale project;
      • Remind of outpouring of support from the Somerset community when then PennDOT Secretary Brad Mallory (now Deputy Secretary for Administration) visited Somerset and  offered, “Chance of 219 – slim to none);
    • Discuss Financial of the last leg
      • What PA funds are being used now for the preliminary engineering study with MD?
      • What is the total amount?
      • Are they ADHS, Federal Surface Transportation or State Revenue funds?
      • What is the total amount offered in the budget?
    • Strategize how to help PennDot in seeking solutions for the potential future problem in unavailable construction funds for the last leg of PA-219
    • Discuss estimated costs for the last seven miles
      • Formal cost estimate increased from $170M to $250M from  2007 to 2012 due to inflation;
      • Great Recession – Deflation Occurred
      • Somerset to Meyersdale – Original Quote was $160M, but the Actual Award was $110M 
  • October 3  – N/S Appalachian Highway Coalition Annual Meeting/TGCC’s Board Meeting
    • An overview of the project was given by Dave Moe, N/S Appalachian Highway Project Coordinator followed by updates from each state.
      • Pennsylvania – Tom Prestash, PA Department of Transportation
        • Project update on the progress from Somerset to Meyersdale
        • The Earthwork Contract was begun in 2013 for $121 million dollars with expected completion late 2016
        • The Structures Contract is expected to run $90 million dollars with completion in the Summer 2017 timeframe
        • For the complete presentation, click here SR 6219-020 Update
      • Maryland – Gregory Slater, MD State Highway Administration
        • There are approximately 8 miles remaining to complete the section from Meyersdale to the I-68 Interchange
        • Fall 2014 – Spring 2015, PennDOT will evaluate comments received during a September workshop with the public in Grantsville, MD
        • Additionally, detailed engineering for alternate junctures with I-68 will be completed
        • For the complete presentation, click here SHA_US 219 PPT_10_2014
      • West Virginia – Marvin Murphy, WV Division of Highways
        • A 3rd quarter study has been conducted to address details of I-68 to Grant County
        • The Tier 2 Study with Maryland and the Federal Highway Administration has begun and is expected to take 2 – 3 years to complete
        • This study will also address environmental issues

2013

  • Attended Allegany/Garrett County PACE in Annapolis, Maryland & met with MDOT/ SHA officials, the Maryland Delegation and Allegany & Garrett County Commissioners to discuss next steps in the completion of Route 219 from I-68 in Maryland to Meyersdale.  The group agreed that nothing short of a Governor – to – Governor conversation would resume the project.
  • Attended Mineral County Days in Charleston, West Virginia and participated in the Transportation meeting, followed by a reception with Governor Tomblin.
  • Traveled to Washington, DC to meet with Congressman Delaney and educate him on the project; he promised to reach out to fellow Congressman Bill Shuster to keep the project moving.
  • FHWA & Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announce to the 13 ARC states that they must submit their MAP – 21 “plans to complete” their respective ADHS corridors to ARC by April 30, 2013.
  • On March 28th Maryland Governor O’Malley writes to Pennsylvanian Governor Corbett offering to fund the preliminary engineering and environmental review requirements to resume the 219 project from I-68 to Meyersdale, PA
  • On May 7th the Pennsylvania State Senate Committee passes $ 2.5 billion state transportation revenue bill which passes the full State Senate on June 5th.
  • In July, the Coalition and TGCC anxiously awaits news of Governor Corbett’s response to Governor O’Malley’s proposal.  A response is anticipated by the end of the month.
  • On July 25th, 2013, bids are opened for the section of 219 beginning in Somerset moving south to Meyersdale.  Earthwork is expected to begin in September for a completion date in 2018.
  • The low bid of a little over $ 110 million was awarded to Joseph B. Fay Company and their bid was substantially below the anticipated $ 160 estimate.
  • The earthwork contract is expected to take two (2) year to be followed by a building of 10 bridges which is estimated to cost $ 92 million and take another two (2) years. That will be followed by a paving contract with an estimated cost of $53 million and take one (1) year for the 11.4 mile stretch of four-land divided highway from Somerset, PA south to Meyersdale, PA.
  • On August 22nd PA Governor Corbett writes MD Governor O’Malley agreeing to have PennDOT partner with MDOT/SHA on the preliminary engineering project on US219 from I-68 to Meyersdale but with delayed construction in PA because, “Pennsylvania does not currently have sufficient  federal or state resources to fund construction… “
  • On August 27th, 2013, representatives from the N/S Appalachian Highway Core Work Group attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Somerset, PA for the US 219 section.
  • TGCC continues to convene the N/S Appalachian Highway Core Work Group on a monthly basis to remain in contact with Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia constituents.  The group is in the planning stages of the N/S Appalachian Highway Coalition Annual Meeting, which will take place on Friday, October 4 in conjunction with TGCC’s regular monthly meeting.
  • The N/S Appalachian Highway Coalition held its Annual Meeting on October 4, 2013 in conjunction with TGCC’s Board meeting.   MDOT/ SHA served as presenters and shared that their agency has budgeted $ 2 million for the US 219 preliminary engineering project in Maryland and $5.2 million for the US 220 project in Maryland.  Representatives from WVDOT have no news of additional funding for their portion of US 220 to ADHS Corridor H. PennDOT representatives updated the Coalition & TGCC on the current construction progress on US 219 and negotiations with MDOT/SHA on the preliminary engineering project on US 219 from Meyersdale, PA to I-68.
  • November 19 – PA State House passes State Transportation Revenue Bill.
  • November 25 – PA Governor Corbett signs new PA State Transportation Revenue Bill that will provide over $2 billion in new revenue for PennDOT over a 5 year period.
  • December 3 – TGCC secures a meeting with PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch to discuss the completing of US 219 from Meyersdale, PA to I-68 in Maryland and possible joint recommendations to Members of Congress to be included in the new expected federal transportation re-authorization legislation in October 2014.

2012

• March 12, 2012 the US Senate passed a new transportation bill reversing language that previously prohibited the use of toll credits for Appalachian Development Highway System projects.
• US House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee passes its version of the transportation re-authorization bill. The bill includes the corrective “toll credit” legislation.
• Congress passes MAP-21 the new federal transportation authorization legislation that includes the toll credit language changes requested by TGCC. It also includes language allowing all ARC states to use their unallocated, accumulated ADHS funds & any federal surface transportation funds for 100% costs of any ADHS project within their respective state.
• PA Gov., Corbett announces the new transportation legislation allows him to fund the 219 construction project from Somerset to Meyersdale, PA which he does.
• Maryland again writes PennDOT asking to re-start the 219 project from I-68 to Meyersdale now that the federal transportation legislation has passed with 100 % federal funding allowed for ADHS projects. PennDOT again declines at this time because it hasn’t yet figured out what ADHS corridors it wants to complete
• Both MDOT & WVDOT submit their Draft DEIS to FHWA for approval. FHWA is expected to respond in Aug. 2013. Neither state budgets funds for the FEIS.
• Maryland State Legislature passes gas tax legislation creating additional funding availability for Maryland transportation projects.
• West Virginia sets up a Blue Ribbon Commission to develop suggestions for additional state funding revenues for its Governor & state legislature.
• Met with Virginia Inland Port officials twice once with local official and once with their corporate officials and advised them of the N/S Corridor Project.
• Held the third annual Coalition Meeting in Meyersdale, PA in October to update members, including local elected officials from MD, PA and WV. The meeting was attended by three adjoining state highway planning officials.
• The Coalition grew to 166 members with the addition and support of Cambria County, PA
• The Coalition now represents 26,981 employees across MD, WV and PA.

2011

• A delegation travels to Capitol Hill again. Visits to Congressmen & Senators regarding the “toll credits” problem for ADHS projects.
• Congressman Bill Shuster (PA) introduces legislation (HR 1218) to amend current legislation to once again allow the use of toll credits for Appalachian Development Highway Systems projects
• Senators Cardin (MD) and Casey (PA) introduced a campaign bill (S 950); Senator Mikulski (MD) signed on as a co-sponsor.
• Held the second annual Coalition Meeting in Meyersdale, PA in October to update members, including local elected officials from MD, PA and WV. The meeting was attended by three adjoining state highway planning officials.
• US Senate Environment & Public Works Committee passes S 1813 – the transportation re-authorization bill – with the corrective “toll credit” legislation included. The Committee vote is a unanimous bi-partisan vote.
• MDOT writes PennDOT requesting to re-start the 219 project from I-68 to Meyersdale and reserving $ 600,000 for its share. PennDOT declines citing it is unsure of federal & state revenues.
• The Coalition grew to 150 members in 2011

2010

• An update to the 2001 Feasibility Study proves the forecast of 10,000 permanent and 20,000 construction-related jobs for the region to remain true, along with the recommended route.
• Held the first annual Coalition Meeting in Meyersdale, PA in October with representatives from all three state’s departments of transportation to update the status of work on the N/S Appalachian Highway Project.
• The Coalition grew to 146 members in 2010

2009

• Maryland Department of Transportation announces $2.1 billion in cuts to State highway projects. It stops work on the US 220 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) with West Virginia DOT. The US 220 project is the southern leg of the North-South Appalachian Highway Project. It runs from I-68 near Cumberland to Corridor H in West Virginia along a possible US 220 alignment.
• PennDOT ceases work with Maryland DOT on the US 219 DEIS project from Meyersdale to I-68. A prohibition on usage of “toll credits” for state match stops the projects.
• TGCC members agree to make the N/S Appalachian Highway its #1 priority project as part of the organization’s 2009/2010 work plan.
• In response to an appeal from PA Governor Ed Rendell, the Coalition secures support from MD Governor Martin O’Malley and WV Governor Joe Manchin in an effort to remove the prohibition on “toll credit” usage for Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) projects. All three Governors advised their respective Congressional delegations of their position.
• TGCC launched the N/S Appalachian Highway Coalition, which includes business and civic leaders, government entities and elected officials in the Highway’s affected states of MD, PA and WV
• Coalition organized both Mountain Maryland County Governments and their respective state legislative delegations to secure a meeting with the Governor of Maryland requesting reinstatement of funding for US 220 DEIS. $750,000 is needed.
• Six months later Maryland DOT announces restarting the US 220 DEIS with West Virginia DOT and budgeting the needed $ 750,000.
• A delegation traveled to Capitol Hill to inform selected Senators & Congressmen of the “toll credit” problem for ADHS projects.
• A 2001 four-state feasibility study examined several possible corridors within an area, including: I-70/76 (PA Turnpike) to the north, ADHS Corridor H to the south, I-79 to the west and I-81 to the east. The study selected US 219 from Somerset, PA to I-68 in Maryland and US 220 from Cumberland, MD to Corridor H in WV as the best route to drive economic development for the region. It forecast 10,000 permanent and 20,000 construction-related jobs for the region. Coalition members asked the Center for Regional Progress at Frostburg State University to consider an update to this study.
• The Coalition grew to 135 members in 2009.

Newsletter 1

Newsletter 2

Newsletter 3

Newsletter 4

Newsletter 5

Newsletter 6

Newsletter 7

Newsletter 8Spring/Summer 2013 (published June 2013)

Newsletter 9Fall/Winter 2013