By DON AINES
4:40 PM EDT, July 12, 2012
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has approved a $400,000 grant to Washington County for the construction of an access road to serve the Mount Aetna Technology Park, according to a joint news release from U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.
The grant will be used to widen a .61-mile section of Yale Drive to four lanes, the release said. The grant brings the total of ARC money involved in the project to $1.2 million, the release said.
Washington County is putting another $2.3 million into the $3.5 million project, the release said.
The Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, or CHIEF, is developing the 173-acre technology park and is paying about $300,000 for the design and engineering work for Yale Drive, CHIEF President Greg Snook said Thursday.
The county is building the extension of Yale Drive, which will provide connections to Meritus Medical Center,
Hagerstown Community College, the senior center being built on the college campus and the technology park, Snook said.
The engineering and design work is expected to be completed this fall, and the road is projected to be completed by fall 2013, Snook said. Yale Drive begins at Medical Campus Road and the extension will provide a second entrance to the college as well as access to the technology park, he said.
This will be the fifth business park CHIEF has developed in its half-century of existence, Snook said.
Through its proximity to the campus and the medical center, the goal is to foster businesses that create jobs in cyber security, renewable energy, biotechnology and other technology fields, he said.
“This is probably a 15- to 20-year project to build out the park, and this is the first step in doing that,” Snook said of the Yale Drive project.
Cardin was quoted in the press release as saying the park could bring 2,000 new jobs to the area.
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