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Waynesboro, Antrim look like winners in highway bill

August 02, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Funding for road and street projects in Antrim Township, Waynesboro, Pa., and McConnellsburg, Pa., were among those included in a $286.4 billion federal transportation bill passed Friday by Congress, according to U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster's office.

Included in the bill are $5.6 million for improvements to exits along Interstate 81 and $960,000 for the intersection for the Exit 3 northbound offramp at U.S. 11, according to Shuster's office.

Shuster, R-Pa., was appointed to the final conference committee that put the final details on the Safe, Accountable, Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act, or SAFETEA, because of his role as a subcommittee chairman and his increased seniority, according to his office.

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Waynesboro is slated to receive $300,000 for improvements to Cumberland Valley (or CV) Avenue, which serves Frick Co., and another $300,000 for Second Street in the area of Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

In Fulton County, Shuster spokesman Tory Mazzola said $500,000 is in the bill to add a turn lane on Pa. 16 in the McConnellsburg area. Mazzola said the improvement is aimed at easing congestion and better handling truck traffic.

The work in Antrim Township has economic development implications, according to Township Manager Ben Thomas Jr. The second phase of a township connector road running south along Grindstone Hill Road from Leitersburg Road would meet up at U.S. 11 and I-81.

Land along the connector route is zoned for light industrial, highway commercial, community commercial and professional office uses, he said. Developing that will diversify the tax base, which has been built largely on housing in the past two decades, Thomas said.

It also would divert some traffic around Greencastle, sending it northeast onto Pa. 16, he said.

CV Avenue is one of the streets in Waynesboro in greatest need of repair, said Borough Councilman Dick George. It also serves Frick Co., one of the borough's major industries and employers, he said.

"CV Avenue will probably be our top priority street next year," with Second Street close behind, said George, who chairs the borough's Street Committee.

Franklin County Area Development Corp. President L. Michael Ross said rebuilding it "would help facilitate some major capital improvements Frick is making."

"The improvements to CV Avenue are critical" to maintaining the company's presence in Waynesboro, he said.

As far as improvements to exits on the interstate, Ross said he would like to see some money spent on studying the need for another interchange between Exit 10 in Marion, Pa., and Exit 14 at Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg.

A southwest bypass of Chambersburg would help with a looming problem of truck traffic going into Chambers-5 Business Park, the Target Distribution Center and future commercial development south of the borough, Ross said.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Greg Penny said the department is still reviewing the details of the mammoth bill, but there is a need for lengthening on- and off-ramps and improving bridges, noting that the highway is more than 40 years old.

Penny added that Pennsylvania appears to have fared well in the bill, paving the way for it to remain a "receiving state rather than a donor state."

Pennsylvania will receive $1.13 for every $1 the state contributed to the Highway Trust Fund, according to Shuster's office.

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