WELLSBORO – Recognizing the value it could bring to Tioga County and the surrounding areas, Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) is pushing PennDOT to take the steps necessary to have Route 15 through the county officially designated as Interstate 99.
“Having the interstate designation would open up so many opportunities for growth in our region,” Owlett said. “We’ve met all the standards necessary to be named an interstate – we just need PennDOT to petition the federal government to make it happen. PennDOT needs to quit dragging its feet and move this process forward.”
In an effort to force PennDOT to act, Owlett successfully inserted language in the state’s annual fiscal code legislation that will require PennDOT to address the status of the roadway, including providing a timeline.
Specifically, PennDOT must issue a report no later than Sept. 30 that includes a list of routes between the northernmost portion of I-99 in Pennsylvania and the southernmost portion of I-99 in New York that will comprise the highway once it is fully designated, as well as a summary of the remaining issues preventing portions of the roadway from qualifying for an interstate designation.
PennDOT is also required to provide a date on which the agency will make an application to the Federal Highway Administration for the designation of the remaining portions of the interstate.
“I fully recognize we need more than just a report, but I am hopeful that forcing PennDOT to fully assess the status of this vital economic development initiative will help spur the actions necessary to finally get the job done,” Owlett said. “This would be a much-needed shot in the arm for rural Pennsylvania, which is all-too-often ignored.”
Owlett’s report requirement became law as part of Act 24 of 2021
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler