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Continental 1 Releases 2015 Action Agenda | Transportation

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Continental 1 Releases 2015 Action Agenda
Continental 1 Releases 2015 Action Agenda

The Continental 1 board of directors today unveiled the organization’s 2015 action agenda, outlining the group’s legislative and collaborative efforts for the coming year in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.


“Next year will be a busy one for the Continental 1 board of directors and supporters of our efforts to complete Route 219,” said Meg Lauerman, Continental 1 executive director. “As local, regional and national infrastructure systems are affected by current initiatives – such as the growth of the natural gas industry, increased trade with Canada through Buffalo and the impacts of the expansion of the Panama Canal on East Coast traffic – Continental 1 is gaining attention as a critical component of Northeast, Midwest and Canadian commercial and personal transportation.”


In New York State, the advocacy group’s efforts will continue to focus on the restoration of $6.7 million in funding for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that was previously allocated, but “swept” into the general fund during the state’s budget crisis in 2010. The SEIS is a necessary step toward any additional work to be done on the completion of Route 219 beyond the improvements finished in 2010, which terminate in Ashford Hollow. There is widespread hope throughout the transportation industry that a portion of the state’s $4.8 billion settlement with BNP Paribas will be dedicated to strengthening the state’s infrastructure.


Continental 1’s Pennsylvania and Maryland agendas focus on three primary tracks: (1) collaboration with PennDOT to identify “trouble spots” related to safety or congestion along Route 219 north of I-80; (2) increased stakeholder engagement in communities not currently served by standing Route 219 committees; and (3) “staying the course” in the processes on the two separate projects – 11 miles (construction phase) and 9.5 miles (planning phase) – between Meyersdale and I-68 in Maryland.


“While the mission of Continental 1 remains completion of a 1,500-mile dedicated four-lane highway from Toronto to Miami, from an advocacy perspective that concept is a difficult one for people to wrap their head around with its size and scope, particularly in today’s transportation funding environment,” said Henry Cook, president of Somerset Trust Company and 2015 board president for Continental 1. “Our 2015 agenda reflects the next steps necessary to move the corridor close to that goal, while providing the flexibility to address immediate concerns along Route 219.”


Continental 1 will mark its 22nd year in existence in 2015, having successfully advocated for signature projects along the Route 219 corridor, including 28 miles of four-lane, limited access highway in New York between the I-190 and Ashford Hollow, and the Bradford and Johnsonburg by-passes in Pennsylvania. More information can be found at www.continental1.org.


(full agenda below)




New York


US Route 219 SEIS Funding – Advocate the restoration of $6.7 million for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The SEIS must be completed prior to constructing any piece of the remaining 20 miles from Springville to Interstate 86 in Salamanca.




McKean County – Engage the public, public officials, Route 219 Association, PENNDOT and North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission in a collaborative initiative to identify and improve safety, access and mobility trouble spots south of Bradford


Elk County to Cambria County – Activate stakeholder groups through the introduction and establishment of Route 219 committees in additional Pennsylvania communities along the corridor to complement Route 219 associations in Cattaraugus (NY) and McKean (PA) Counties


Somerset to Meyersdale – Continue to advocate and publicize the ongoing construction of the 11-mile section of new highway from Somerset to Meyersdale.


Pennsylvania and Maryland


Meyersdale, PA to I-68 and Grantsville, MD – Advocate the completion of the US 219-019 Project Planning Study to further the 9.5-mile, four-lane, limited access highway project from  the Meyersdale Bypass to I-68 and Grantsville, MD



Get Involved!

Continental 1 calls upon supporters from communities along Route 219 to write letters to the editor, contact state elected officials and provide statements of support, as well as for private sector financial support to sustain the organization’s efforts. Join the Continental 1 group on LinkedIn or sign up for the Continental 1 newsletter by e-mailing mlauerman@continental1.org to receive updates and calls to action!


Continental 1 is the not-for-profit organization advocating for the completion of a 1,500-mile trade corridor extending from Toronto to Miami in support of business growth, strategic community linkage and faster, safer travel. Continental 1 members represent New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Ontario, Canada.


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