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News stories tagged with "rooftop-highway"

...Comment via the website, that's really what folks need to do.

Regional Economic Development Council puts draft plan online

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council has posted a draft of its strategic plan--and it includes supporting controversial long term federal projects such as the Rooftop Highway.

It also sets out seven visions for the North Country including: the construction of growth in the aerospace, defense, biotech and other industries; increasing the region's profile as a special destination to visit, live, work and study; creating the greenest economy in the state; and starting an agriculture revolution.

The North Country Council is one of ten around New York created by Governor Andrew Cuomo to compete for millions of dollars in state funding. Garry Douglas is co-chair. He says the draft plan was created after a series of public hearings. Before submitting the final proposal to Albany, he wants people to review the plan online.

"Because there's not time between now and November 14 to go out and do another whole round of hearings. So it's going to be website dependent. People that have interest go there, look at them, and then comment via the website. That's really what folks need to do."

The website is North Country Open For Business - dot - com.  Go to full article

Group opposes "rooftop highway"

The idea of an Interstate across the North Country to connect Watertown and Plattsburgh is more than 50 years old. It's had different names: the rooftop highway, the Northern Tier Expressway, Interstate 98. But it's never faced any organized opposition, until now.

A group of residents in St. Lawrence County has formed "Yes Eleven." They argue that with a price tag of at least four billion dollars, and opposition from the state department of transportation, the rooftop highway is a pie in the sky.

John Danis is the co-coordinator of YES-Eleven. He told David Sommerstein the group's name references the notion that the rooftop highway is siphoning precious funds from existing infrastructure on the region's main existing artery--Route 11.  Go to full article
[BDC] is not doing enough about luring businesses into this community.

'Rooftop highway' boosters eyed for cuts

The not-for-profit that has spearheaded the push for an Interstate highway between Watertown and Plattsburgh is under fire. Massena's mayor says the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena hasn't been audited in 8 years and isn't doing enough to create jobs. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Thereís things that would be real helpful that that money would make a difference to instead of putting it into something thatís speculative

St. Lawrence county offers rooftop highway funds

Tonight the St. Lawrence County legislature votes on a measure to allocate $20,000 for promotion of the rooftop highway. Supporters say the decades-old plan to build an Interstate between Watertown and Plattsburgh is the best way to create jobs in the North Country. Critics call it a "pipe dream". And they say many other projects are desperate for funding in lean times. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Especially a transportation project...itís such a visible form of government spending, they may either look the other way or make an excuse.

Earmarks die hard

During election season, Republicans vowed to crack down on earmarks -- spending for projects in legislators' own districts.

But as Emma Jacobs reports for the Innovation Trail, the impulse to send money home is still strong.

(Support for the Innovation Trail comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between five upstate public media outlets, reporting about New York's innovation economy.)  Go to full article
The whole route does not, in our mind necessitate or warrant a four lane highway. - DOT

Boosters seek to push 'rooftop highway' ahead

The concept of an Interstate connecting Watertown and Plattsburgh has been the holy grail of North Country economic developers for decades. It's been so long, the so-called "rooftop highway" can seem more legend than reality.

Supporters are fighting hard to push the project into the reality column. They're calling it by a new name - Interstate 98. And they're urging the state Department of Transportation to begin an environmental review of the project. That would mean charting a precise path for the road. And it would mean studying impacts on wetlands and forests, birds and other animals, and people's homes and properties.

But the DOT isn't on board. It doesn't think an Interstate is needed to begin with. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Jason Clark at "I-98" central in Massena.
Jason Clark at "I-98" central in Massena.

"Rooftop highway": new cheerleader and fresh coat of paint

Like the fabled Lake Champlain monster, every few years an old debate rises to the surface of the North Country's political scene. The idea of a four-lane highway across the top of New York State, from Watertown to Plattsburgh, has near-mythical status today. It would take anywhere from $2 to 4 billion dollars and decades to build. It would almost certainly spark strong opposition. Still, the rooftop highway is taking some baby steps forward. It may get new federal money. It has a new name. And it has a new, energetic figurehead. David Sommerstein has this profile.  Go to full article

A "rooftop highway," mile by mile

The "rooftop highway" is almost mythical in northern New York. The idea of an Interstate linking Watertown and Plattsburgh, through Gouverneur, Canton, Potsdam, and Malone, has been bouncing around since the 1950s. It's seen as a key to economic development in the North Country. New York's department of transportation estimates the whole project would cost $2 billion and take decades to build. So the DOT is taking public comment on a new plan to take the smallest of steps forward--a passing lane here, decongesting intersections there, maybe even a bypass. 75 people came to last night's meeting in Canton. Few were pleased with what they heard. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Spitzer to referee Canton road dispute?

A group of residents are taking on the state department of transportation over a proposed middle turning lane on Route 11 in the village of Canton. The stretch in question is a tree-lined residential neighborhood of historic homes. Residents are trying to get Governor Spitzer's attention when he visits Potsdam next week. As David Sommerstein reports, word is they've already succeeded.  Go to full article

Canton seeks road relief

In the decades-old quest for a so-called "rooftop highway" between Watertown and Plattsburgh, the villages along Route 11 are considered the bottlenecks. Take Canton. Many afternoons last summer, bumper-to-bumper traffic stretched more than a mile from the main intersection. Despite the gridlock, village residents have joined forces against a plan to widen a residential stretch of the road. And they've embraced an idea many of them fought a couple decades ago. But as David Sommerstein reports, traffic is not always what it appears to be.  Go to full article

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