Blair seeks money for intersection

Grant would fund Route 764 upgrade

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County is endorsing the pursuit of a grant to upgrade an Allegheny Town­ship intersection that will be affected by the opening of a new business in the industrial park.

Commissioners voted un­animously Tuesday to add their letter of support for $455,302 from the Appala­chian Regional Commis­sion’s Local Access Road Grant Program.

Allegheny Township is pursuing the grant to pay for upgrading the Route 764 in­tersection, with signal light, at Theater Drive.

“There are a number of issues with the signal light,” Allegheny Township Secre­tary Silke Morrison told commissioners during their weekly meeting.

In addition to improving the signal light, the intersection upgrade will permit the introduction of right and left turn lanes, Morrison said. The turning lanes are expected to help with traffic flow that will increase after Centene Management Co. LLC builds a customer claim center in the industrial park.

Centene, a St. Louis-based company, announced in July that it will construct a 53,000-square-foot building along Theater Drive to serve as a national health care inbound customer claims center. The company expects the center, over a four-year period, to generate about 300 jobs.

The structure also is to include a cafeteria and day care center for employees.

Morrison said the company’s plans have been moving forward and if the grant is awarded, then the intersection improvements will progress.

Commissioners told Morrison they would readily endorse the grant pursuit for the proposed intersection upgrade.

“It’s certainly needed,” Com­missioner Ted Beam Jr. said.

The Appalachian Regional Com­mission, with money ap­propriated by Congress, awards grants for projects and efforts deemed to strength­en the economy and help residents in a 205,000-square-mile region that follows the Appa­la­chian Moun­tains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes West Virginia and parts of 12 other states, including Penn­sylvania.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.

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