Press Release

February 9, 2010




Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today called on President Obama’s nominee to co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to make completion of the North/South Appalachian Highway a priority. Speaking at a nomination hearing for Earl Gohl Jr., Senator Cardin also asked for support for removing the prohibition on state’s use of toll credits as matching funds for the Appalachian Highway project and encouraged Mr. Gohl to support maintaining ARC’s tradition of working closely with local partners like the Tri-County Council of Western Maryland.  
 “One of the most important projects to Western Maryland and the region is the completion of the North/South Appalachian Highway. Along with dozens of companies, public officials, civic and public organizations in Western Maryland I have made this project a top priority for the region.  The alignment and improvements to Routes 219 and 220 are critical infrastructure projects for improving and sustaining economic development in the region.  ARC is an important facilitator of this project and I encourage Mr. Gohl and the ARC leadership to make this project a priority for the Commission.
“Improvements to these two roads are estimated to create upwards to 12,000 new permanent jobs and 20,000 construction jobs in the three affected states. Our economy is still hurting and these jobs are more important than ever to the region.  I am working hard to see that the remaining portions of the project in Maryland are realized. 
“Western Maryland has benefited from several ARC projects including worker training programs, transportation improvement projects and expanded access to broadband communications services. For that I am grateful and it is one of the reasons I worked very hard to help increase planning grants funding for my state and all Economic Development Districts.”
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of 13 Appalachian states to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.  Each year ARC provides funding for hundreds of projects in areas such as business development, education, job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation.