Route 219

The southern end of the four-lane section of U.S. Route 219 in Meyersdale is shown on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

Three main highway projects across the middle of Pennsylvania are eligible for funding as part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, which is set to receive $1.25 billion over five years from the federal infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden on Monday.

The Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) is a system of highways, authorized in 1965, across Appalachia. The ADHS is roughly 90% complete, but Pennsylvania shares some of the incomplete projects, including U.S. 219 in Somerset County, U.S. 220/I-99 and the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project spanning the Susquehanna River, which all qualify for funding.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) estimates that Pennsylvania will receive $87.5 million over five years to help offset the costs of the projects.

As part of the federal spending plan, Pennsylvania is in line to receive approximately $19.7 billion for everything from roads and bridges to clean water projects, according to figures from the offices of Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey.

“This bipartisan legislation will make transportation easier, safer and more sustainable,” Casey said in a release following the bill signing. “It will expand broadband access, invest in climate mitigation and provide many Pennsylvanians with clean drinking water. These investments will support the economic growth of small towns across the nation, and rural and urban areas alike.”

Based on the federal funding formula, Pennsylvania would expect to receive $11.3 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs.

Public transportation in the commonwealth could receive $2.8 billion to improve health and increase sustainable transportation options. The plan also means state airports could receive $355 million for infrastructure improvements.

Another $171 million will be coming to Pennsylvania in the next five years to build a network of electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations to expand the state’s EV charging network.

Broadband internet projects will get at least $100 million, a boost government officials said should help 394,000 Pennsylvanians who currently lack coverage, mostly in rural Pennsylvania. Additionally, 23% of Pennsylvanians will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

Other allocations include $49 million to protect against wildfires, $26 million to protect against cyberattacks, the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.

Based on historical formula funding levels, Pennsylvanians will expect to receive $49 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $26 million to protect against cyberattacks.

The state also expects to receive $1.4 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure and ensure clean, safe drinking water throughout the commonwealth. Pennsylvania is expected to receive more than $3 billion to assist with abandoned mine reclamation as well.

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