Trump signs bill permitting four years of park commercial traffic
MILFORD — On Monday President Trump signed H.R. 560, a bill amending the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Improvement Act to allow commercial through-traffic.
More than 30 years ago, Pennsylvania transferred Route 209, then a state road, to the National Park Service. Commercial through-traffic is banned on roads in national parks, so this stretch of Route 209 was put under the same constraint. However, a 10-year exemption was made to support the local freight transport industry, and because acceptable alternative routes were unavailable. After multiple extensions, the most recent commercial vehicle authorization expired at the end of September 2015.
H.R. 560 reinstates access for certain vehicles serving residents of municipalities adjacent to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area until Sept. 30, 2021.
"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. 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," said U.S. Rep. Marino, representing the 10th District, in a statement. "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 President Trump has signed it into law. 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."