Politicians, business leaders and Centre County officials came together Tuesday to celebrate a $35 million federal transportation grant that will go toward the Interstate 80 and 99 interchange project.
PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said the federal money will be the catalyst to get the entire project moving forward.
“It is not often that we get tens of millions of dollars in federal funds to help us with a major project," Richards said. "That’s exactly what we’re celebrating here today.”
State Representative Kerry Benninghoff was one of the speakers at the event, held at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology. He said as a former county coroner he’s seen the results of crashes that can happen at the I-80/I-99 interchange.
“That intersection has always worried me. My daughter now lives in Snow Shoe, and when I get on there I think about this all the time," Benninghoff said.
He said people who live there and use the intersection “should not have to feel they’re playing dodgeball" every time they get on and off a road.
PennDOT expects to put the first part of the project — the new local interchange — out for bid in spring 2020. Construction will take an estimated two years. The second part of the project will be a high-speed interchange. The project has a total pricetag of $185 million.