Cumberland Times-News

Local News

October 4, 2013

U.S. 219 upgrade project back on SHA’s map

FROSTBURG — Out of commission since 2007, the project to upgrade U.S. Route 219 between Interstate 68 near Grantsville and the Pennsylvania line is back on the Maryland State Highway Administration’s radar screen.

“We will look at three possible routes and I don’t think we will come up with any new ones,” said Carmeletta Harris, project manager. Harris, along with representatives from Pennsylvania and West Virginia updated the North-South Highway Coalition at its annual meeting Friday at Frostburg State University.

This 2.5-mile piece of highway is part of a larger effort to create a major highway from Somerset, Pa., on the north to Scherr, W.Va., on the south using U.S. Route 219, Interstate 68 and U.S. Route 220.

“All three of the routes being considered are new highways,” Harris said, meaning they will not run along or atop existing roads.

One possible route is just to the east of the existing U.S. 219, in a valley that can be seen from the traffic signal where that road intersects with U.S. Route 40.

The other two routes have a common beginning, slightly to the west of Grantsville, though they bifurcate before reaching the state line.

Harris said it is not possible now to place a timetable on a route selection, although creation of an environmental impact statement is likely to take two years.

Data gathered in 2007, such as traffic flow or existing natural conditions, has to be updated. SHA has $2 million for this phase of the effort.

Tom Prestash of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation encouraged the coalition, a product of The Greater Cumberland Committee, by saying it wasn’t that long ago that there was a belief that the portion of U.S. 219 between Somerset and Meyersdale would never be improved.

That work started this past summer as part of a $300 million contract.

The tricky part about the short road from Grantsville to the state line is that it will have to align with routes that will be considered by Pennsylvania. Prestash said five routes are being considered on that side of the Mason-Dixon Line.

In addition, Pennsylvania does not have its portion of the study funded yet.

Dave Moe, The Greater Cumberland Committee’s North-South Appalachian Highway Project coordinator, said a bigger and better road system between Somerset and Scherr will create 20,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent positions.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at

Text Only
Local News
  • House of cards House of cards

    Sixth-graders James Patalinghug, left, and Nina Cutter build a multilevel tower out of index cards Tuesday afternoon at Washington Middle School. The activity was part of a science, technology, engineering, math, known as STEM, lesson designed to teach students about load distribution, friction and gravity.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORY ORNDORFF Green Spring man sentenced to 40 years for toddler’s death

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced 22-year-old Cory A. Orndorff of Green Spring to 40 years in prison for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Glen Bell, a public information officer 900-acre Bear Den wildfire 70 percent contained

    CENTERVILLE, Pa. — A 900-acre wildfire on Wills Mountain in Bedford County was said Wednesday to be “the largest fire in Pennsylvania this spring season,” according to Cecile Stelter, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry public information officer.
    The fire that was reportedly situated mostly on state game lands began Saturday at about 2 p.m., with initial firefighting efforts handled by the Cumberland Valley Township Volunteer Fire Department at Centerville.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • System to provide firefighters quick access could be required in new Mineral businesses

    KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Commission agreed to look into the possibility of implementing an ordinance that would require new commercial businesses to install a KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System.

    April 23, 2014

  • Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement over claims they sold synthetic drugs

    CUMBERLAND — Charles and Traci Casey, owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale, have agreed to forfeit $173,988.61, to settle claims that they sold synthetic drugs at their stores.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall maulers

    Chad Trail, Rick Ryan, Mike Lawrence and Rusty Pyles, Cumberland Street Department employees, work on replacing the concrete strips that run between the bricks on the Downtown Cumberland Mall between Centre and Liberty streets.

    April 23, 2014

  • CHARLES  SEVERANCE W.Va. judge orders Severance extradited to Virginia

    WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — A man wanted for questioning in relation to three unsolved slayings in Alexandria, Va., in the past decade should be extradited to Virginia on an unrelated weapons charge, a West Virginia judge ruled Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keyser man faces charges in Easter incident

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney Jay Courrier is faced with deciding whether to charge a Keyser man with disturbing a religious worship.

    April 23, 2014

  • 43-year-old receives prison time for molesting his niece

    CUMBERLAND — A 43-year-old city man was sentenced Wednesday to a 10-year prison term for the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl, according to the Office of the State’s Attorney for Allegany County.

    April 23, 2014

  • ISAAC SPONAUGLE Isaac Sponaugle seeking re-election to West Virginia House of Delegates

    FRANKLIN, W.Va. — Del. Isaac Sponaugle of Franklin announced recently that he will seek re-election to the West Virginia House of Delegates for the 55th District. Sponaugle will be seeking his second term as delegate after having been first elected in 2012.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo