Gov. Cuomo calls for study on I-98 rooftop highway; North Country representatives pleased
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 5:34 pm

After years of debate, the state could be taking a serious look at establishing a new highway between Watertown and Champlain.

North Country Senators Patricia Ritchie and Joseph Griffo and Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to study the feasibility of creating a new east-west interstate highway across the North Country. The plan was announced in Cuomo's state of the state address today.

"Today, the governor also announced that the Department of Transportation will undertake a feasibility study on I-98, or the “Rooftop Highway.” The roadway—which would connect I-81 in Watertown to I-87 in Champlain—is seen by many as a development that could not only make travel easier, but also could bring economic growth to the North Country region," Sen. Ritchie said.

Assemblywoman Russell said the traffic congestion between Watertown and Plattsburgh is an issue that has been plaguing the North Country for years. She said the lack of such a route has hindered economic growth in the area.

"I have had a series of conversations with the governor's staff for many years and those conversations have intensified in recent months," she said. "I was elated that our concerns about not only safety, but the lack of transportation are being looked at in Albany."

Griffo was also pleased with the announcement

“I’m also encouraged to hear the governor wants to invest in upstate roads and bridges and study the feasibility of Interstate 98.”