CANTON -- YESeleven, a local group opposed to an Interstate-standard “rooftop highway” proposal called I-98, recently presented a 50-year plan to upgrade U.S. Route 11 in the Potsdam-Canton corridor to the St. Lawrence County Planning Board.
"There are going to be changes in the Rt.11 corridor and YESeleven believes that local villages and towns in the affected corridor should be at the forefront of the visioning and planning process rather than having changes imposed by higher and more remote levels of government," YESeleven spokesman John Danis said in an email.
Their proposal includes six stages, Danis wrote.
Stage one involves improvements to the existing Route 11 footprint over the next 5 to 7 years.
Phase two would put a controlled-access truck bypass around Canton to the north, sometime around 2024 or 2026. Phase three would do the same to Potsdam in 2026 or 2029.
Phase four involves moving CSX rail crossings away from the Canton and Potsdam villages.
The fifth phase would connect the thru-traffic Canton and Potsdam bypasses contracted in phases two and three. This would happen between 2029 and 2039.
Phase six would only happen "should the need and interest exist," Danis wrote. It would put a four-lane highway between the Canton and Potsdam bypasses, possibly extending to points east and west. This would be built between 2039 and 2064.
"YESeleven is proposing this only as a template for discussions by local and regional planning groups … all locations are approximated … to provide a visual context for further discussions," Danis said in his email.