Goodman, Argall announce millions in state grants

Funding will replace a bridge, repair a road and extend an airport runway

HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Neal P. Goodman and state Sen. David G. Argall announced that they helped secure $2.477 million in state grants to help replace a bridge, extend an airport runway and repair a road in Schuylkill County.

“This funding will help pave the way for important infrastructure projects to move ahead throughout my legislative district,” said Goodman, D-Schuylkill. “I commend the Schuylkill County Airport Authority, Saint Clair Borough Council and West Mahanoy Township Supervisors for their hard work and for setting aside money for a local match to these grants. These applications would not have been successful without a local match.”

"These grants will further local investments made in each of these projects," said Argall, R-Schuylkill/Berks. "The airport project is especially important given its location and potential to grow and provide new opportunities and jobs for Schuylkill County residents."

The three grants were approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority at its meeting Tuesday. The Schuylkill County Airport Authority will receive $1,627,845, Saint Clair will receive $750,000 and West Mahanoy Township will receive $100,000.

The airport authority will use the grant to extend the runway at the Schuylkill County/Joe Zerbey Airport from 4,599 feet to 5,000 feet. The longer runway will allow larger aircraft to land, and make it safer for smaller planes to land during bad weather. County officials have said the project is important to retaining and attracting businesses at Highridge Business Park.

Saint Clair will use its grant to help repair the 51-year-old, weather-worn Lawton Street Bridge.

The borough-owned, two-lane bridge made of concrete beams has deteriorated over the years, forcing Saint Clair to place weight restrictions on it. It was damaged by Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and flooding in 2006.

About 500 vehicles cross the bridge every day. It is located on East Lawton Street at the intersection of South Mill Street.

The total cost of the project is $1.13 million. Saint Clair will pay the remaining 30 percent of the project.

West Mahanoy Township will use its grant to repair Altamont Boulevard between Industrial Park Road and the access road to the Schuylkill Mall and the State Correctional Facility at Frackville. The township is doing this project in conjunction with the Schuylkill Municipal Authority.