Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E   

  Contact: Joe Agnello, (724) 755-5262, (724) 755-5142 fax
                 e-mail: jagnello@paturnpike.com 

May 27, 1999


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has earmarked another $7 million to help advance the Mon/Fayette Expressway, including $4 million for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

This newest commitment of federal funds was revealed May 27, 1999, by U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater as part of his announcement that FHWA will provide nearly $124 million in discretionary grants for 55 projects in 32 states in year one of the five-year National Corridor Planning and Development and Coordinated Border Infrastructure programs.

Only four of 50 separate, non-related projects for which grants were approved received more money than the Mon/Fayette Expressway.

The $7 million includes $4 million for Mon/Fayette Expressway construction in Washington and Allegheny counties and $3 million to help West Virginia build in Monongalia County, from Interstate 68 north to the Pennsylvania border, its 4.1 miles of the Mon/Fayette’s 12-mile Mason Dixon Link .

Nearly $56 million in federal funds have been committed to help the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the West Virginia Department of Transportation develop the Mon/Fayette Expressway. Two previous commitments were for development of the expressway in Pennsylvania. They included $23.8 million from the 1991 U.S. Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and $25 million authorized for High Priority Projects in ISTEA’s "successor," the six-year Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) that was signed into law on June 9, 1998.

TEA-21 designated the Mon/Fayette Expressway as well as the Turnpike Commission’s Southern Beltway as "high priority corridors," making them eligible to compete on an annual basis for the type of discretionary grant awards announced Thursday by Secretary Slater.

The new federal transportation bill provides $690 million for the National Corridor Planning and Development Program and $10 million for the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program, or $700 million in combined funds for both programs. Annual available funding is $140 million for each of the last five years of the six-year TEA-21, which will expire September 30, 2003.


 P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649