2018-06-14 / Local & State

Proposed USDOT Grant Announced For I-80/I-99 Interchange


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Bill Shuster (PA-09), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA- 05), and Lou Barletta (PA- 11) recently announced that the U. S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has selected the I-80/I-99 interchange to receive a $35 million federal grant under a program designed to fund freight, bridge, and highway projects of national significance across the country.

USDOT announced it intends to award the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) the funding under the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program, now known as the “INFRA” program.

“This is great news for central Pennsylvania and the entire state. Moving this important infrastructure project forward will improve the flow of freight throughout the commonwealth, relieve congestion, and enhance safety at this well-known bottleneck,” Shuster said. “This is something Congressmen Thompson and Barletta, my colleagues, and I have been focused on for years, and I thank them for their hard work to make sure this important project moves forward.”

“This project has been in the works for more than a decade and it will finally move forward,” Thompson said. “This will have widespread benefits for the region and is a prime example of the good that can come from local, state and federal government working together and in coordination.”

“As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I’ve spoken firsthand with the people who live and work in the areas served by these roadways, and know how important this project is to economic development and the safety of residents and visitors,” Barletta said. “Additionally, as someone who spent years working in the road construction industry, I know how critical it is that we continue to invest in that system. This much-needed funding will generate construction jobs and enhance our national freight network, which will help create opportunities for economic growth across Pennsylvania.”

Under the proposed grant, PennDOT will receive $35,110,410 for a direct connection between I-80 and I-99 in Centre County, replacing the current indirect connection along State Route (SR) 26. This project consists of three sections, and the INFRA funds will be utilized for the section that is the most costly and scheduled to enter construction first, the I-80 Local Access Interchange. That component includes constructing a diamond interchange to maintain the existing local connection from SR-26 to I-80, and replacing two bridges along the mainline of I-80.

The INFRA competitive grant program was established in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the 2015 longterm surface transportation law written by Shuster, chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and supported by Reps. Thompson and Barletta.

Under the terms of the FAST Act and the INFRA program, Congress now has 60 days to review the USDOT infrastructure grant selections before the department can award the grants. Upon review, if Congress takes no further action, the department can proceed with the awards.

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