Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee, hailed passage of the Transportation Conference Report, for its provisions that will improve the prospects of completion of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) and preserves funding for the Local Access Roads program of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
“Modernizing and improving transportation infrastructure will help keep Mountain Maryland competitive, stimulate its economy and improve the lives of all its citizens. I fought hard to ensure that completing the Appalachian Development Highway System was a priority. Removing the prohibition on the use of toll credits, increasing the federal cost share, and requiring states to develop ADHS completion plans are all provisions in this bill that will help make it possible for Maryland to complete the US-219 portion of the North-South Appalachian Highway, and maintaining the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Local Access Roads program will promote economic development in Western Maryland and throughout Appalachia.”
“Investing in our nation’s highways, bridges, and transportation infrastructure is one of the best federal investments we can make. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that for every $1 billion in federal investment in transportation, 34,700 jobs are created or saved. Improvements to Maryland’s roads are no different. Completion of the North-south Appalachian Highway connecting I-68 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Corridor H in West Virginia is expected to create more than 12,000 new permanent jobs and 20,000 construction jobs in the three affected states. Our economy is still recovering and these jobs are more important than ever to the region.”
The Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) is currently authorized at 3,090 miles. By the end of FY 2011, 2,612.2 miles—85.6 percent of the miles authorized—were open to traffic. Completion of the ADHS has long been a top priority for ARC.