Plans for a Centre County highway project, that’s been in the works for decades are nearing a major decision on where the new road will be built.
Among those concerned about the project and their futures are farmers in the region.
Gary Sinderson reports.
Penndot terms it the State College Connector project. The so missing link of Route 322, from Potters Mills into Central Centre County, to make it a four lane highway. Some say the project title is misleading.
Among the potential new routes are some that will upgrade the Route 144 corridor to the North. But others say the title says it all, That new road will head straight to State College and the Centre Region
“You know what scares me Gary? I feel like a line has already been decided, that has already been drawn, to go through this process of having people’s input and getting their confidence up that maybe were going to do something with it, it’s hard on people who participate in it.
Thats Dean Ball, Penndot’s Manager for the State College Connector Project
“Yeah we talked to Dean, he was kind enough to come and visit, and that was nice to see, you know their mentality, these are only proposals,so we don’t know at this time, but as soon as that proposal is on the map, it effects our lives from that day forward, operating a farm is not year to year, we look many years ahead”
Jesse Darlington has 250 acres of farmland in Potter Township that has been part of his family heritage for hundreds of years, several of Penndot’s options for a new roadway, cut through his farmland
The farmers stress their not against the connector project, but the have concerns about Penndot’s decision making process
On Darlington’s property, a nature preserve with a lot of animals beside his horses and cattle, thats a bald eagle flying in the distance, four lane highways use a lot of acreage
The farmers know the reality. Increasing population in Centre County, the Centre Region is growing, limited space, besides farmland, for construction
Penndot is expected to narrow down the options, to two or three possible routes for the State College Connector Project, sometime this Summer