New law will open Route 209 to local commercial traffic
U.S. Rep. Marino: 'Business owners were fearful of having to close their doors and with jobs being threatened'
Congress passed legislation on Dec. 22 that will allow local businesses to resume using Route 209 through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in both Monroe County and Pike County.
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and U.S. Congressman Tom Marino (R-Pa.) said the bill now awaits President Trump's approval.
In September 2015, a more than 30-year-old exemption expired that had permitted local commercial traffic to travel on Route 209 through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which is owned and operated by the National Park Service (NPS). The absence of this exemption left commercial traffic serving the area with limited or no acceptable alternative routes. Senator Toomey and Congressman Marino worked with local stakeholders to re-instate this exemption through September 2021.
"Ensuring that local business vehicles are able to travel on Route 209 through Monroe and Pike Counties is essential to providing services to residents and for local economic growth," said Senator Toomey. "Congressman Marino has been a terrific partner in this effort and I certainly appreciate the role of local stakeholders in supporting the re-instatement of this exemption."
"When a stretch of Route 209 closed to commercial vehicles in Pike and Monroe Counties, many of my constituents were left in a state of uncertainty," said Congressman Marino. "Business owners were fearful of having to close their doors and with jobs being threatened, homeowners were trying to figure out how to keep food on the table. When the House passed my bill to reopen this stretch of Route 209 last January, I was optimistic that we would see it clear the Senate by years end. Today I am happy to see that after much hard work we are sending this bill to the President's desk. I would like to thank Senator Toomey for working closely with me and being such a strong advocate for its passage in the Senate. I would also like to thank all of the local stakeholders who helped shape this bill. I am confident that this bill will provide the much needed relief to this area the residents have been waiting for."