The first of two meetings on the state college connector project was held Wednesday evening. Douglas Braff attended the meeting at Mount Nittany Middle School.
Since its conception, the State College Connector Project has been a source of controversy.
“Every single route goes right either by my house or through my house,” said a man in a fleece. “So, actually, my concern would be that you’re going to destroy my family by paying me the lowest my real estate is worth because we’re going into recession through the highest interest rate that we had in 15 years.”
The project’s been in the works for years and seeks to better link the State College area to Lewistown and Harrisburg. Last month, the project whittled down the location of the proposed connector to three routes, all along Route 322.
The project’s manager, Dean Ball, said the public comment from these meetings will help with the next major step in the whole process.
Officials explained the reasoning behind these potential routes to the public tonight. But a number of area residents who spoke to the panel were far from satisfied.
Much of the controversy stems from the proposed routes cutting through a number of existing properties, with several being multi-generational, family farms. One man is part of his family’s twelfth generation.
Others brought up the environment, such as one silver-haired, bespeckled lady who said, “How will our living environment be protected from dust, from carcinogens, and all of those nasty things that go into construction?
Others took offense with PennDOT spending this much money, given its financial situation.
There will be a second meeting Thursday, Oct. 20, at 5pm at the Mount Nittany Middle School, with the presentation again starting at 6:15pm. If you’d like to ask a question, you will have to sign up when you get there.