$35 million INFRA grant approved for I-99/I-80 interchange project

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved PennDOT’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant application for the construction of a high-speed I-99/I-80 interchange and associated local access options.

Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson made the announcement on Tuesday, June 5.

Through its ‘DRIVE Forward’ initiative, the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County sought to garner broad-based support for this and other major transportation projects critical to safer and more efficient travel to, from and through Centre County. The CBICC, along with a growing group of government, business, community, academic and individual stakeholders, engaged in a sustained, collaborative campaign to help secure federal grant approval.

In letters submitted with PennDOT’s initial grant application; support letters sent to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; and in visits with key congressional leaders and staff in Washington, DC, this collective support was highlighted.

The ‘DRIVE Forward’ initiative demonstrates what can happen when various stakeholders work together to achieve a common goal — in this case, a project that will dramatically reduce traffic congestion and improve motorists safety, and have significant implications for commerce and new business investment opportunities as well.

“The awarding of this $35 million federal grant for the I-99 and I-80 interchange is the result of over three years of collaboration and campaigning. This project is a much needed improvement that will have a widespread effect on both the Central Pennsylvania community, be it the economic, safety and workforce impact, but also the tens of thousands of guests coming to visit. To all the local organizations, municipal authorities, legislators, especially Congressman G.T. Thompson, PennDOT District 2-0 and Leslie Richards, the teamwork with the MPO Committee and Tom Zilla, who supported the DRIVE Forward movement, thank you. When we can agree on an agenda, just as we have on this I-99/I-80 interchange project, we can produce multi-stakeholder wins such as this one. It is a win-win for all of Central Pennsylvania.” -Dan Hawbaker

Special thanks go out to:

U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, 5th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, 10th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, 9th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, 11th Congressional District
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey
State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman
State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff
State Rep. Mike Hanna
Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization
Dan Hawbaker/Glenn O. Hawbaker
Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science & Technology
First National Bank
Penn State University
U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Chao
PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards

The ‘DRIVE Forward’ website, www.driveforwardcc.com, will continue to provide project status updates as they are available, and news about other priority transportation projects. You can also sign up as a supporter.