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Specter asked to help fund new I-81 exit in FRanklin Co.

August 07, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sen. Arlen Specter heard a funding request Monday from some of Franklin County's civic and municipal leaders who want to open a new Interstate 81 exit south of Chambersburg.

The exit would be in Guilford Township, Pa., south of Exit 14 at Wayne Avenue, according to Bob Thomas, a county commissioner who has been working with the Greater Chambersburg 21st Century Partnership's transportation committee.

The request comes as CSX Transportation begins work on a new "intermodal terminal," which will allow trucks to load containers onto and off trains along Country Road.

"Because of all the development that's occurring in that area, where the exit is proposed, it would have a big impact on keeping truck traffic off (U.S.) 11, Wayne Avenue and Orchard Drive," Thomas said.

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The new exit would also serve the Chambers-5 Business Park, he said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be contracting with McCormick, Taylor & Associates Inc. engineering firm for the project, according to Thomas.

Specter, R-Pa., was favorable to the proposal because an intermodal terminal will lessen the truck burden on the nation's highways and reduce the amount of fuel used, Thomas said.

"The whole concept is that West Coast trucks and trailers will be loaded onto rail," he said. "The senator said this is how he'll help sell it."

The Greater Chambersburg 21st Century Partnership has a meeting scheduled soon with U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa.

"We're doing some heavy-duty lobbying already," Thomas said.

He did not have a cost estimate for developing the new exit.

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