US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Project Name: Casey Highway in Pennsylvania
C03 Project ID: 55
Project type: Limited Access Road
State: PA
Topic Supports: Environmental Review Merged with Permitting Application; Integrated Planning Application
The Casey Highway or the Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway, as it was originally called, was proposed as a new highway to help relieve congestion on the existing U.S. Route 6. It was anticipated that this highway would also support economic development in Lackawanna Valley by providing better access into the regional expressway system. The project was on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's (PennDOT) 1990-2002 Twelve Year Program and was designated as a top priority corridor by the Governor. During the planning phases, to complete the complex environmental review procedures, PennDOT requested a high level of collaboration among all involved state, local and federal agencies.

As part of this collaboration effort, an Executive Committee of key local, state and federal decision makers was set up that could be directly involved and could respond quickly on key project issues. Special interagency coordination meetings were held for a monthly review of rapid project developments and there was extensive public involvement through public meetings and workshops with various interest groups. Additionally, special state and federal funding assistance was made available to the county and local governments to support comprehensive land use planning that would minimize the secondary impacts of development induced by the new highway.

Collaboration between government agencies was also important in establishing linkages between multiple plans that were developed for the region. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Casey Highway that was completed in 1992 included a detailed analysis of secondary economic impacts. This led to the preparation of the Lackawanna Valley Corridor Plan by the local planning agency to minimize the indirect effects of the highway. The plan also laid out where specific land uses would occur along the corridor and the type of development that would occur at interchanges. Since the project was completed in 1999, significant commercial and industrial development has occurred along the corridor through partnerships between the state economic development agency that provided location incentives to businesses and the local chambers of commerce that bought the land and developed industrial parks. Casey Highway was also planned and designed to support tourism and cultural and recreation activities in Lackawanna Valley. For this purpose, another complementary plan called the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Plan was prepared by the local planning agency. This plan relied on the improved access provided by Casey Highway.