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Public input sought for transit service on National Road

| Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 6:27 p.m.

Public input is being sought for a study that could bring a transportation service to the National Road National Scenic Byway.

The National Road Heritage Corridor announced that it has received a $72,000 grant from the Federal Highway/ National Scenic Byway Program and matching funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The grant is to undertake a study for a potential coordinated transportation system along the Historic National Road National Scenic Byway and the Laurel Highlands State Scenic Byway.

The area being studied along the corridor includes Route 40 from Uniontown (hotel area) to Farmington (Nemacolin Woodland Resort area) and Route 38 1711 from Farmington to Donegal.

“These two well-traveled byways connect the region's residents and visitors to some of the most breathtaking tourism destinations in the area,” said Donna Holdorf, executive director of the National Road Heritage Corridor, or NRHC. “The goal is to identify potential transit systems that can help people explore all we have to offer, whether they arrive here by bus, car, motorcycle or via the Great Allegheny Passage on a bike or on foot.”

The consultant group working with the NRHC on the project is The Delta Development Group Inc., which Holdorf said is gathering information, looking at routes and potential routes. She added that they're also looking for comments from individuals and business owners to add to the information they're collecting. Delta will be conducting small group meetings to obtain ideas from the public. The meetings will begin and last no longer than 30 minutes throughout the day and pre-registration is required.

From that point, Holdorf said Delta will come back with some concepts sometime during the beginning of next year. Then the public can view those concepts at future public forums and provide further comment to move along the process. Also working with the NRHC is Fourth Economy Consulting and Mackin Engineering Company.

Holdorf said a coordinated transportation service will increase the impact of tourism in the county, because it will create a greater ease for people using the bike trail and it could very well create new jobs in the area in the long run.

The public meetings will take place:

• Noon to 6 p.m. Monday, The Barn at Fallingwater, 1478 Mill Run Road, Mill Run.

• Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, 65 W. Main St., Uniontown.

Those interested in attending one of the 30-minute meetings are asked to contact the National Road Heritage Corridor's office at 724-437-9877 or Info@nationalroadpa.org. Pre-registration is required.

Feedback can also be provided through an on-line survey. The web address for the survey is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZ7DXWP.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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