The rooftop highway, now known as I-98, won’t be on the list of projects the North Country Regional Economic Development Council sends to Albany this month.
The idea has been around for decades: a four lane interstate to connect I-81 on the western edge of the region, to I-87, on the eastern side.
Council co-chair Garry Douglas told NCPR yesterday that the interstate, being pushed hard by St. Lawrence County, just isn’t the kind of initiative that fits the mold, for now:
We will need to identify a discreet, probably small number of projects, that will have to meet very rigorous criteria…so this is not one of those projects.
This is just the first pass in Gov. Cuomo’s regional approach to economic development. Appointed councils from around the state are competing for $40 million in state funds – that’s another the reasons the highway, estimated price tag $4 billion, doesn’t qualify, so far.
The state department of transportation’s against it. Instead, the DOT prefers more modest improvements along existing state Rt. 11. How about it? Good idea? Or no?
YESeleven, a group opposing the rooftop highway, has posted maps of what it thinks the route would be, in sections from Watertown to Plattsburgh. Find them at the group’s website, here.