Barletta Speaks at Groundbreaking of Harrisburg Courthouse
HARRISBURG – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) attended the groundbreaking of a new federal courthouse in Harrisburg. Barletta, in his capacity as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, has been at the forefront on this issue, personally shepherding the initial authorization of the funds for the Harrisburg Courthouse through committee and fighting for years to obtain full funding for the project. Also in attendance were Representatives Bill Shuster (PA-09) and Scott Perry (PA-04).
“I am truly honored to be able to participate in today’s groundbreaking for the new Harrisburg Courthouse,” Barletta said at the event. “This is something that everyone here has fought long and hard to make a reality. I’ve had the privilege of seeing this project through every step of the process, and am proud that it represents the efforts we have made in Congress to ensure that the federal government is a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars while still ensuring the needs of the Courts are met.”
In his capacity as a subcommittee chairman on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Barletta has consistently worked to get this project over the finish line. In September 2016, Barletta announced that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee had authorized a total of $194,444,000 for the Harrisburg Courthouse. In a big win for Pennsylvania, Barletta was able to secure $137.2 million to fully fund the project in the government funding bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2018. The $137.2 million provided the final installment of construction funds to complete the project.
“As a lifelong Pennsylvanian and a former mayor, I know how important this project is not just to the people who will work and visit the courthouse every day, but also to the surrounding community,” Barletta said. “This project will serve as an economic driver for new development throughout the entire area, creating jobs and new opportunities for Pennsylvania families.”
Additionally, Barletta has worked closely with Judge D. Brooks Smith, Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, who had been Chairman of the Committee on Space and Facilities until October 1, 2016. He has also been in close contact with Judge Christopher Conner, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Congress formally appropriates the money for courthouse construction and renovation, but traditionally defers to the judiciary to set the priority order.
To be located at 6th and Riley Streets, the Harrisburg project includes the design and construction of a courthouse of approximately 243,000 square feet and an estimated 43 parking spaces. The new building will contain 11 chambers and eight courtrooms, including three for District Judges, two for Senior District Judges, two for Magistrate Judges, and one for Bankruptcy Judges. The current courthouse only has four courtrooms and has not been able to handle the court’s caseload.