Washington, Greene to get close to $433 million for state transportation projects over next 12 years

Brad Hundt

A combined total of $432,989,206 will be spent on transportation projects in Washington and Greene counties over the next dozen years, according to an updated 12-year transportation program released by the State Transportation Commission.

The $61.7 million that has been earmarked for projects in Greene and $371 million in Washington are slices of a $64.8 billion pie that the commission anticipates being available for transportation projects across the commonwealth over the next 12 years. The commission updates its 12-year plan every two years, and the latest one goes into effect Oct. 1. No capital project can go forward unless it is included in the 12-year plan.

The economic upheaval sparked by COVID-19 is not reflected in the plan, according to Alexis Campbell, a PennDOT spokeswoman

“The process to update the 12-Year Program began 20 months ago, long before COVID was an issue,” Campbell said. “However, the (plan) will likely need to be modified to reflect any direct impacts due to COVID after the new federal fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.”

When the previous 12-year plan was adopted in 2018, the overall amount was $63.9 billion, so the latest plan represents an increase of almost $1 billion.

The funding will come from federal, state and local sources and, across the state, will be divided this way over the next four years: $11.4 billion for state highway and bridge projects; $9.4 billion for public transportation; $321 million for multimodal projects; $228 million for rail freight; and $138 million for aviation.

The projects in Greene County run the gamut from $2 million in drainage improvements; $8,000 in restoration work on U.S. Route 19 in Ruff Creek; and a $1.7 million bridge replacement on State Route 21 at Grinnage Run Road. In Washington County, the projects include resurfacing State Route 4018 from Avella Road to the West Virginia state line at a cost of $800,000; intersection improvements at the intersection of Bebout and Valleybrook roads at a cost of $2.6 million; a $1.9 million bridge replacement on State Route 1059 over Mingo Creek; and $1 million in signal upgrades on Jefferson Avenue in Canton Township.

The Washington County Transportation Authority is getting a bus replacement in the plan, as well as a maintenance facility and office equipment. Sheila Gombita, the executive director of the authority, said the plan holds the line on the state’s transportation’s needs, rather than expand upons them. But, she pointed out, that might be a best-case scenario given the fiscal constraints governments at all levels are operating under right now.

“I think everybody would like to see more,” Gombita said.

A complete listing of all the projects in Washington and Greene counties, and the 65 other counties in Pennsylvania, is available at talkpatransportation.com.

In a news release, PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said, “Investments in transportation are critical for keeping our communities connected to the global economy. While additional investment in our large transportation network is certainly needed, PennDOT takes pride in being a responsible steward of federal, state and local dollars to help improve infrastructure across all modes.”