WASHINGTON — U.S Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded Washington County $1,020,275 to construct an access road extension to the Mt. Aetna Technology Park. The grant will be used to add a .14 mile section of roadway connecting Yale Drive, as part of the project to extend Yale Drive from its current terminus to Scholar Drive on the campus of Hagerstown Community College (HCC).
“The Mt. Aetna Technology Park development will be an economic anchor for Washington County and will bring approximately 2,000 new jobs in the over the next 15 years to the area,” said Senator Cardin. “This ARC grant is providing important funding to complete Yale Drive and get the infrastructure that is needed in place so that the project can move forward.”
“This grant is about jobs in Western Maryland,” said Senator Mikulski. “The completion of this access road will help Washington County attract new high-tech businesses, jobs and economic development to the region.”
“This funding is critical for Washington County to build the much needed Yale Drive and Professional Drive connections in the Mt. Aetna Area. Planning and design are underway, and construction is anticipated to start later this year,” said Robert Slocum, Washington County Deputy Director of Engineering and Construction.
Yale Drive will provide critical access to the 173-acre Mt. Aetna Tech Park and additional access points to the HCC campus. This funding will bring ARC’s contribution to $2,820,275 million for the project. The Maryland Highway Administration MSHA) will administer the project and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will serve as the basic federal agency for the project.
The ARC is a key partner in maximizing federal, state, and local resources to promote economic development in Western Maryland and throughout the region. Since 2008, the ARC has invested $358.9 million in the region, resulting in the leveraging of $1.025 billion in state-local-other public investments, and $2.756 billion in private investments. These investments created or retained 122,842 jobs, provided 112,172 households with new or improved water and sewer service, and provided job training to 102,826 students.
Senators Cardin and Mikulski have been leading supporters of the ARC Commission in the U.S. Senate. In recognition of his support of regional economic development and the ARC, Senator received the 2012 Congressional Award from the Development District Association of Appalachia.