To the Editor,
I have been reading a great number of op-ed columns and letters to the editor, over the last month, even the last year or more, regarding the building of a new interstate (I-98) across the North Country; or improvements to route 11.
I was born and raised in Malone and lived a total of 15 years right along route 11, both in Malone and Burke and travelled many a mile upon her. I still Travel route 11 daily from our home in Brasher to work in Malone, so I am familiar and rather fond of US 11; and the state does a fairly good job with maintaining and repairing route 11 too.
The problem is, as a means for companies to move large amounts of goods via truck, it is not a really viable solution and all the bypasses in the world will not help.
Anyone who has travelled route 11 from Rouses point to Watertown would know how time consuming it is to travel through the smaller towns and larger villages. Bypass Potsdam and Canton if you want to but it takes just as long to traverse Malone from end to end and Governeur can take you forever. If you are driving truck and hauling freight then time is money and, since you are limited in time behind the wheel, the additional time takes away from when you can be on the road and lengthens shipping time; increased time equals increased costs to the manufacturer and eventually the consumer.
Manufacturers look at available infrastructure just as much as tax breaks and low cost electric when selecting an area to build in. Route 11 is just not the right infrastructure to entice businesses that manufacture large quantities of items and it is manufacturing that we need to attract.
The rooftop highway is like a field of dreams if you build they will come, or at least have a reason to. May sound like a fantasy, but so is dreaming that a bypass of Potsdam and Canton is going to make this area attractive to business.
At least to the businesses with any quantity of high paying jobs; such as we recently lost with the closing of GM and Alcoa east. The prisons are next, then where are we with our regional economy.