Congress approves plan to expand Gettysburg park

AP News
Posted: Dec 12, 2014 5:41 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress gave final approval on Friday to a plan that expands Gettysburg National Military Park by 45 acres and adds the historic Lincoln Train Station.

The Senate passed the proposed expansion as part of the $585 billion defense policy bill.

The plan expands the park to include environmentally sensitive land at the southern end of the battlefield, where cavalry skirmishes occurred during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg.

The Lincoln Train Station, located in downtown Gettysburg, was built in 1858. It served as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg and was where President Abraham Lincoln arrived on the eve of his Gettysburg Address. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"This legislation will preserve an area of great national historical and cultural importance," said Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who pushed the measure along with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. The Pennsylvania senators said the expansion will boost the region's economy by promoting tourism.

The House approved the measure last week. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The land was donated in 2009 to the Gettysburg Foundation, which plans to give it to the park.