Rooftop highway will never be built
Monday, January 17, 2011 - 11:53 am

To the Editor:

Here is a letter I sent to State Senator Patty Richie:

I would like to refer you to a North Country Radio piece on the Rooftop Highway (ncpr.org – 12-7-10)

Jason Clark and the DOT were both included. The highway has been pushed by some county officials as a cure all for all our economic woes.

Years ago I wrote a letter to John McHugh where I said it was a scam for the politicians to say they are doing something but in actuality nothing happens I’m writing to you as the Voice of Reason. You don’t have a dog in the hunt.

Research the subject, talk with the DOT, legislators, DANC, Bill Owens, Kirstin Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer, county planners, the EMC and just ordinary people. Northcountrynow.com just ran a survey on the highway – lots of good comments.

I have come to the conclusion that the highway will never be built, but because politicians are playing the game, they are not focusing on realistic and practical solutions to our problems. A case in point: 18 months ago all you heard about was stimulus money.

The DOT wanted to scrap the idea of the highway and build four by-passes around Gouverneur, Canton, Potsdam and Malone. Rt. 11 is a federal highway. I’m sure the DOT was thinking of stimulus money.

What happened was our politicians said the Rooftop Highway or nothing and that is exactly what we are going to get. The DOT has $6.3 million to study the project but would prefer to spend it on improvements to Rt. 11 right now. This make sense to me, especially since it is doable.

Before he left office, McHugh chaned his mind and opposed the highway. I have been trying to fine a copy of hs statement. I just heard a brief bit on the radio but it leaves me puzzled about Ownen’s pro rooftop position.

I would have thought that he would have researched the issue before he bought into a $10 billion scheme to tear a 300 ft. swath through the North Country.

Rick Swanson

Rensellaer Falls