JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — With $4 million in federal funding, a new road will be built at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport that will provide access to 75 acres of developable land on the property.
The money will be provided through Community Project Funding – the Modern Assignment Program – after being recommended for consideration by U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Center, 15th Congressional District.
Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority Chairman Rick McQuaide called the road the second phase of an airport development project, the first being to gain a Keystone Opportunity Zone designation, allowing new companies on the site not to be taxed for 10 years.
The future intermodal link road will run from Airport Road to the airport property on Fox Run Road, a gravel driveway, all located in Richland Township.
It could provide access to a possible future heavy aircraft maintenance facility, while creating an access point for fire and security vehicles, as well as a cargo connection.
“This is a significant improvement, which will allow us to develop the airport,” McQuaide said. “Once we have a valid user at the airport, we can move very quickly to develop a facility that can potentially house an aviation-related business or any type of business that serves the community.”
The airport road was one of 10 proposals supported by Thompson for community project funding in the 15th District. CPF projects, also known as “congression-directed funding,” were funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022.
Thompson said the plan has “strong community support” and provides “community benefits.”
“This investment will ensure its long-term sustainability and prosperity (at the airport),” said Mr. Thompson.
Thompson and McQuaide were joined by U.S. Representative John Joyce, R-Blair, 13th congressional district; State Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., R-Richland Township; State Representative Jim Rigby, R-Ferndale; State Representative Frank Burns, Township of D-East Taylor, along with Cambria County Commissioners Thomas Chernisky, Scott Hunt and William “BJ” Smith announced the funding.
“Today is about the hand-in-hand research, work, development and ability of all of these officials – state, local and federal – to work together and see Johnstown Airport, the John Murtha Airport, continue to grow and progress,” said Joyce.
Last year, Joyce and Thompson voted against the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that is now incorporated into the spending of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022.
Along with members of Congress, proponents of the project hope the road will allow the airport to improve its service for passenger travel, business development and the work of Johnstown Air National Guard Station.
Langerholc called the airport “a key part of the infrastructure we’re putting here” which includes proposed improvements to Johnstown Station, Johnstown Incline, Cambria County Transit Authority’s Downtown Intermodal Hub and Johnstown’s Main Street that will be paid for with $24.5 million in U.S. Department of Transportation grants to rebuild America’s infrastructure with sustainability and equity.
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.