MARK YOUR CALENDAR
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has announced its desired route, the North route, for the Uniontown-to-Brownsville link of the Mon/Fayette Expressway in the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS). The statements made by our state, county and local elected officials and community and business organizations that the North route will provide for economic development in Fayette County are contradictory to the findings of the DEIS.
Specifically, this local toll road will do very little for economic development in Redstone and Menallen townships. The DEIS projects loss of manufacturing jobs and an increase in commercial jobs, ie. low wage jobs, in Redstone around the Route 166 and Route 40 intersections and further concluded that growth is projected with or without the North route. The majority of the DEIS confirms that this local toll road is being built to replace Route 40 and to allow Route 40 to become a National Park.
Our elected officials are again following past practices and rewarding the so-called politically connected and their benefactors instead of performing their duties and making decisions for the good of all of Fayette County. If economic development was the true goal of the elected officials and organizations, hey would take a serious look at the Green Corridor.
The Green Corridor would promote growth throughout a greater part of Fayette County. One specific area is Thompson and Redstone Township to New Salem in Menallen Township. Much of this area consists of coke and mine sites and these brown areas are best suited for manufacturing sites. Also, there are existing businesses in these areas with room for more. Redstone Township has a sewerage project headed for the Republic and Cardale area.
These areas seem to form a natural business park. Our elected officials and organizations overlook these areas and plan development around Uniontown.
There is no justification to promote only certain areas of Fayette County, while leaving out and damaging other areas. Narrow vision and self-interests put Fayette County where it is today. The North route benefits the politically connected and other benefactors and does nothing for the majority of Fayette County.
The Green Corridor benefits more of Fayette County.
Tom Zimmerlink Jr. Allison
Road planners need to supply answers
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will hold a public meeting Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Brownsville High School to explain results from studies on the Mon-Fayette transportation project between Uniontown and Brownsville.
Those attending this meeting will hear the results of the Draft Environment Impact Study (DEIS) that is necessary before a planned toll road can be developed. Before this highway can advance, it must be approved by the Federal Highway Administration with its Record of Decision (ROD). The open house meeting will be from 4 to 9 p.m. There will be formal presentations.
The input, the attendance, comments from the public are very important to the decision by the Federal Highway Administration. Questions must be asked at this meeting.
Who are the turnpike officials trying to please in the route they have selected? Will it serve the best interest of this county for all or just to please a few? Why go north when it should go south? Why have an interchange at Route 51/Route 119 with ramps, flyovers, crossovers, when there are four interchanges in this area?
Check the DEIS map regarding this interchange. I have been told by a PennDOT official this interchange can be a nightmare. A legislator said this could be another bottleneck. Another consultant at a previous public meeting had said the Green Corridor was the route to go as did a legislative aide, registered engineer at our March meeting with turnpike officials with Citizens for a Straight Highway.
Why was the Green Corridor dropped? A corridor that could be safer, efficient, less costly, serving more communities with more potential for development? Why is it that the turnpike officials are so intent at getting local traffic on the toll road to pay for it? Why did the Herald- Standard show the map of the northern route in green in its article of Oct. 22 to confuse and deceive the public?
Will Route 40 be turned into a scenic highway and controlled by the National Road Heritage Park? There are a lot of questions to be asked. It is for this reason, comments are so important.
The mentality of the area must change, the vision must be there for a better and brighter future. Don't let yourself be controlled. Be heard, let your actions speak.
William G. Rostich New Salem