The completion of U.S. Route 219 from Somerset to Meyersdale would not have been possible had it not been for the hard work of our area legislators.
In 2008, when the toll credit debacle was discovered, a meeting was set up in Harrisburg with then governor Rendell to request the state match of 20 percent, which in dollars amounted to $70 million. At that meeting, the governor tasked Sen. John Wozniak, Sen. Richard Kasunic, and Rep. Bob Bastian to have the legislature include the money in a proposed bond issue. Although not completely successful, these three gentlemen were able to secure $35 million to keep the project moving forward. That funding enabled the work now completed to continue.
Ben Cardin. It was co-sponsored by Maryland Sen. Mikulski and both Pa. Sens. Robert Casey and Pat Toomey. As a member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, Sen. Casey championed our efforts in the senate, even setting up a meeting with the N/S Coalition after hours in the U.S. Capital. Casey went a step further introducing legislation allowing the remaining ADHS highways to be 100 percent federally funded. Sen. Toomey worked with his colleagues to be sure the language change was included.
In the House, no one worked harder to get this bill passed than Congressmen Mark Critz and Bill Shuster. Both worked tirelessly to have the toll credit language reversed. Without the help of these individuals, Route 219 from Meyersdale to Somerset may never have been completed. They all deserve our thanks and continued support.
John Vatavuk, Somerset County commissioner
Dave Moe, Coordinator North-South Appalachian Highway Coalition