Seize Beltway opportunity

January 11, 2013

It seems that with all the renewed attention being given to the Southern Beltway project by our local legislators, you’d think we would hear something from officials in South Fayette Township.

South Fayette will receive a full interchange within their boundaries, with direct access to I-79 and routes 22 and 30. This project has been planned for many years with the cooperation and insight of many local landowners, developers and elected officials. South Fayette will be the beneficiary of an interchange near its western border, just as it received an interchange 45 years ago when I-79 cut a corridor through our township. Who would have known then what the Bridgeville/South Fayette interchange would mean to our area. It spurred much-needed economic development despite objections by some residents and officials at the time.

Look south along the I-79 corridor, and it is evident what the Southpointe interchange has created in terms of economic development for Cecil Township. Road projects not only create construction jobs while they are being built, but sustain construction jobs long after they are completed, with continued build-out of areas surrounding interchanges and major highway corridors.

At this point, any municipality – especially considering our current economy – would give anything to have not only a major highway corridor passing through within their borders but also a full interchange, with access to thousands of acres of vast, mostly undeveloped property.

What does South Fayette do? They want to adopt a new comprehensive plan that would severely limit any type of development in the western half of the township – the same area which will be the site of a full interchange along the Southern Beltway!

Now is the time for local, regional and state officials to seize the opportunity being afforded our area and the economic benefits many other municipalities are already receiving. Why would you want to put a comprehensive plan in place that would severely limit or eliminate commercial development in areas around the proposed beltway corridor?

If the comprehensive plan is to be used as a guide to our future, and bring real benefits to our local taxing bodies, then it appears much more work is needed to achieve the best results. Opportunity is knocking. Let’s answer the door before it leaves and we all wonder what happened.

John Alan Kosky



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