On Wednesday, April 13th, the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce hosted an open forum where local business leaders and community members reviewed plans for the reconstruction of Route 31 in Donegal.
The attendees were able to view the preliminary construction map from PennDOT which you can now also view from the comfort of your own home by clicking here.
At the meeting, we discussed the importance of providing a lasting impression on visitors to the Laurel Highlands region and how our community’s image is fundamentally important to our economic well being. Board member, Abe Wagner, stated, “Anyone visiting the number of attractions in our area will exit onto this stretch of road. As a community, we can roll up our sleeves and make a positive impact, or we can let the transition play out as it will. The MLCC had taken a proactive position to try and plant a seed for community involvement.”
What Exactly Does the Route 31 Reconstruction Project Involve?
It is a $20 million improvement project that will focus on the 3.5 mile stretch between the Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange and Route 381 at Sarnelli’s Corner Market, the corridor known as the “Gateway to the Laurel Highlands”. It will include the installation of traffic lights for those getting on and off the turnpike, and a continuous T-intersection, which will allow those traveling along Route 31 to bypass the light.
According to Liberty Hill, PennDOT District Plans Engineer, “The improvements will help with safety and traffic congestion in the area. We’re really looking forward to getting the project started.”
At the meeting, President of the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, Renee Seifert, explained how tourism benefits our area, boosts businesses and actually lowers taxes. “We are always going to have visitors spending money in the Laurel Highlands. This is a tremendous opportunity for all of us to promote our own local products made right here in the Laurel Highlands – food, art, clothing, things that are indicative to our area.”
Local Residents, Business Owners, Visitors – We Want to Hear YOUR Thoughts!
What do you think about the upcoming Route 31 Reconstruction Project? What are your concerns? How do you foresee it enhancing and improving the Gateway to the Laurel Highlands?