On the right road

| Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

The recently adopted transportation-funding package gives much needed support to business, tourism and agriculture across the state. This bill includes $35 million for the Dirt and Gravel Road Program, which benefits local townships and boroughs in funding environmentally sound road-maintenance projects.

Armstrong County has 1,041 sites identified as needing improvements on 498 miles of roadway. The Armstrong Conservation District has been administrating the road program here since 1996. The program was created through the help of Trout Unlimited.

Townships and boroughs are the beneficiaries of the program. Municipalities that own roads and are responsible for their maintenance can apply to the conservation district for funding. To date, 189 projects totaling $3 million have been completed in Armstrong County.

Roads are being improved for farmers and foresters to more easily get their products to market. Tourists get access to more remote areas on safer roads. By addressing sediment pollution sites on roads near our streams, anglers will be able to enjoy Armstrong County's excellent fishing opportunities.

This funding helps upgrade our area roads, resulting in improved access and efficiencies in the areas we live. Furthermore, the work for these dirt and gravel road projects is typically contracted locally, which boosts our economy.

The infusion of dollars in this transportation-funding package is a win for all Armstrong County residents. If you would like to learn more about the Dirt and Gravel Roads Program, visit www.dirtandgravel.psu.edu/, or you may contact the Armstrong Conservation District, Dirt and Gravel Roads specialist, at 724-545-3610.

Dave Rupert

The writer is district manager for the Armstrong Conservation District.

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