The Lycoming County Planning Commission on Thursday endorsed the Williamsport Area Transportation Study's four-year spending plan for local transportation upgrades.
The commission also approved a stormwater management waiver for a water withdrawal facility proposed in the western part of the county. That project could remove several hundred gas industry trucks per day from local roads.
The WATS transportation plan contains 64 highway and bridge projects totaling more than $74 million, and 18 transit projects totaling more than $41 million, said Mark Murawski, county transportation planner.
WATS is the planning organization charged with selecting local highway, bridge, transit and other types of transportation improvements that receive state or federal funding, Murawski said.
By law, no project can receive federal highway funds unless it is included in the transportation plan, he said.
While the $115 million price tag on those projects may seem high, much more money could have been spent, Murawski said.
"We could easily spend three times the money," he said, adding that funding constraints have forced the planning group to select only the highest priority projects.
Much of the funding will be used for bridge and road maintenance or on projects that already are underway, he said.
Only seven of the projects identified in the plan are new, Murawski said.
One big ticket item is the major reconstruction of Route 15 from Williamsport to Hepburnville. It is expected to cost about $20 million, Murawski said.
Another project, but one that will reduce head-on vehicle collisions, is the median barrier project on Route 15 south of South Williamsport. That project is expected to cost about $5.5 million.
Other projects include the realignment of the inter-
section of Routes 188 and 42, which is expected to cost almost $3 million. That project also includes the replacement of a nearby bridge spanning Little Muncy Creek.
Much of the transit plan focuses on converting the River Valley Transit bus fleet from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas, Murwawski said.
The public has until July 19 to comment on the plan. WATS will vote on the plan at 1 p.m. July 23 in the commissioners' board room on the first floor of Executive Plaza.
Murawski said the plan may be viewed "at hundreds of places throughout the county," including the office of the county Department of Planning and Community Development on the third floor of Executive Plaza, local municipal offices, the PennDOT District 3 office, state legislative offices, local public libraries, the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, River Valley Transit, Susquehanna Trailways, STEP Inc., local nursing homes, the Center, Hope Enterprises, CareerLink, the Center for Independent Living, local colleges and the YMCA and YWCA.
It also may be viewed by logging on to the county website at www.lyco.org and going to the Department of Planning and Community Development page.
In other business, Anadarko is proposing to build a water pump station and withdrawal facility that will remove up to 1.5 million gallons of water per day from the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and then transport that water by pipeline to gas drilling sites north of the river.
According to George Logue Jr., commission chairman, piping 1.5 million gallons of water per day to drilling sites would remove 300 water hauling trucks per day from local roads.
The proposed facility will be less than 2,000 square feet and will be located at the Susquehanna Campground between Route 220 and the river.
Anadarko requested a waiver for stormwater management associated with the project. In a letter to the county planning office, the company said the pump station would have no appreciable impact on the river's peak flow during flooding.
The waiver was granted.
The commission also approved land development plans for a compressor station that will be built by PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC.
The compressor station will be built in Cogan House Township on property owned by the Red Bend Hunting and Fishing Club.
The project included two compressor station buildings, a control building and other compressor equipment, according to planning documents.