BEDFORD, Pa. - The Greater Cumberland Committee (TGCC) recently hosted the fourth annual North/South Appalachian Highway Coalition meeting at Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, Pennsylvania.

For the News Tribune
BEDFORD, Pa. - The Greater Cumberland Committee (TGCC) recently hosted the fourth annual North/South Appalachian Highway Coalition meeting at Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, Pennsylvania. 
The goal of the coalition is to advance economic development in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, Potomac Highlands of West Virginia and Mountain Maryland by leading efforts to complete the transportation corridor linking the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-68, and Corridor H in Grant County.
Coalition partners include businesses, civic organizations, elected officials, government entities and media outlets. The meeting brought representatives from Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia together to provide an update on the progress of the highway system.
Dave Moe, TGCC’s North/South Appalachian Highway Project coordinator, gave a general update of the project stating that significant progress is being made and “we’re in the process of moving more dirt.”
Gregory Slater, director of planning and preliminary engineering of the Maryland State Highway Administration, offered that there are approximately eight miles remaining to complete the section of US-219 from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, to the I-68 interchange.  Slater also provided feedback from the Sept. 23 workshop held in Grantsville, Maryland, to address the community’s concerns regarding the interchange, noting that the comments were overwhelmingly positive.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s representative, Tom Prestash, PennDOT’s District 9 executive, reported that the stretch of highway between Somerset and Meyersdale has a projected completion of mid 2017 providing that funding continues.
Meanwhile, Marvin Murphy, West Virginia’s Department of Transportation’s assistant deputy secretary of transportation, added they are planning to begin their Tier 2 Study to produce a Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) for their portion of the US-220. This study is expected to take three to four years to complete.
Following the respective state updates, Brenda Smith, TGCC’s executive director, was optimistically hopeful based upon the attendance and level of participation.
“There are two things different about today’s meeting.  First, we have key transportation officials who are directly engaged with the project providing the update; secondly, the decision by Maryland and Pennsylvania representatives to provide a joint presentation is a clear indicator as to how far we have come with this project – regionalism at its best.”
The Greater Cumberland Committee is a not-for-profit member based organization of 80 civic and business leaders representing Allegany and Garrett counties in Maryland, Mineral and Hampshire counties in West Virginia, and Bedford and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania.
For more information on the project, visit TGCC’s website at www.greatercc.org/workgroups/northsouth-appalachian-highway/.