Barletta and Casey: Federal courthouse in Harrisburg a 'done deal'

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Congressman Lou Barletta said Thursday the verdict is finally in: Harrisburg will, at long last, get a federal courthouse.

It's been talked about for nearly two decades and on the drawing board since September 11.

Elected officials past (Mayor Steve Reed) and deceased (U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter) joyfully promised the courthouse-to-come at North Sixth and Reilly streets. But the snow-covered vacant lot still sits idle.

No longer, Barletta proclaimed. He pointed to Congress' new spending plan that will "appropriate" $137 million to finish the roughly $190 million courthouse. In the past, the courthouse was merely "authorized."

"We were able to fight for this and we eventually won out, and the courthouse - which many people believed would not happen or had doubts as to whether it would become reality - we're happy to say we're going to be seeing the ground broken and a new courthouse being built," said Barletta, who is running for Bob Casey's U.S. Senate seat.

In a statement to reporters Wednesday night, Casey also took credit for securing the funding and years of hard work.

The fact is, lots of politicians past and present participated in the process that seemed never-ending. Many residents are no doubt saying, 'we'll believe it when we see it.'

So when will we see it?

"I'm not sure the timetable, and the engineering report, and the design and the groundbreaking," Barletta said. "The important thing is nothing happens without the money, and now that they know they have the money, it's full steam ahead."

Nearly $200 million is quite an investment in what has been a rough section of Harrisburg. The old c

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