|HEARING HELD FOR ROUTE 228 PROJECT|
INDIANA, Pa. - Last night the public was given another opportunity to communicate its thoughts to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regarding a proposed project to improve Route 228 in southern Butler County.
PennDOT Engineering District 10 in cooperation with FHWA held a Public Hearing and Open House Plans Display yesterday at Mars Area High School for the Route 228 Improvement Project. Over 200 people attended the Public Hearing. Official public testimony regarding the project and its Environmental Assessment was taken at the hearing, while PennDOT and FHWA representatives and consultants were on hand at the Open House Plans Display to answer questions about the project.
Testimony given during the Public Hearing indicated that safety in the corridor remains a top priority to the public, particularly in the area of Mars Area High School. Multiple testimonies urged PennDOT to further investigate the plan for controlled access to Route 228.
Other concerns addressed the need for noise mitigation. Overall, the public was pleased with PennDOT's community outreach through the early phases of the project.
The hearing was an important part of the process toward obtaining environmental clearance from the FHWA to move forward with the project, which would widen and improve Route 228 between Route 19 in Cranberry Township and Route 8 in Middlesex Township.
Testimony from the hearing and other written comments received during the Environmental Assessment review period will be answered by PennDOT and FHWA before environmental clearance is issued.
PennDOT announced in April that it was recommending an alternative that used the existing Route 228 alignment with a short realigned section at Balls Bend. The
Environmental Assessment contains information on all the alternative alignments considered for the proposed project and addresses natural, cultural and socioeconomic resources along the corridor.
It also includes information regarding engineering design and public involvement activities for the project to date.
The Environmental Assessment is available for review at a number of area locations. (Please see the attached list). The public comment period for the Environmental Assessment, which began April 30, ends Friday, June 22. Written comments regarding the document may be submitted to Mark Rozich, Project Manager, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Engineering District 10, 2550 Oakland Ave., P.O. Box 429, Indiana, PA. 15701. Written comments must be post-marked by Friday, June 22, 2007.
Once environmental clearance is granted, the project will proceed in multiple sections as funding becomes available. Currently, only partial funding is available for the project, which will cost an estimated $88 million to construct. The first section to be built will be from Route 19 to Myoma Road.
Last night's hearing and plans display was the fifth public forum hosted by PennDOT to inform community members of the project's progress.
Other public involvement efforts have included 11 meetings with a Community Advisory Committee, 12 land use task force meetings and over 60 special group meetings. Ongoing communication with the general public and various stakeholders has helped to ensure that the current recommendations meet project needs and compliment the quality of life within the surrounding communities.
More information about the Route 228 Improvement Project, including a detailed question and answer page and graphic representations of the information presented at the Open House Plans Display, is available at www.route228.com.
Here is a list of locations where the Environmental Assessment document is available for review:
690 Valencia Road
124 West Diamond St.
2525 Rochester Road, Suite 400
Cranberry Township, PA
598 Spring Ave.
Mars Public Library
107 Grand Ave.
525 Pleasant Hill Road
133 Browns Hill Road
Northland Public Library
300 Cumberland Road
PennDOT Engineering District 10
2550 Oakland Ave.
230 Pearce Mill Road
4011 Dickey Road
Seven Fields Borough
220 Garden Drive
Seven Fields, PA
61 Almira St.