By STEVEN T. DENNIS
Construction of the Downsville Pike interchange on Interstate 70 will begin next February, but designs for improving the Halfway Boulevard/Interstate 81 interchange might be changed, according to state highway officials.
The Downsville Pike project will be advertised for bid this October, said State Highway Administration engineer John Zanetti.
Zanetti said construction will cost about $10 million and take about 18 months.
The planned interchange played a key role in the Washington County Planning Commission's recommendation to approve a massive rezoning of the Artz farm on Rench Road south of I-70 and is a key to developing the nearby Friendship Technology Park owned by Allegheny Power.
"We realize that that interchange is critical to providing an opportunity for jobs at Friendship Technology Park," said Allegheny Power spokeswoman Midge Teahan.