I have followed the I-98 issue a bit more closely of late due to my proximity to the debate as one serving on the North Country Regional Economic Council. I think this letter sums it up.
Lapel pins, bumper sticker and pep rallies for a road that will never be built and indeed doesn't seem to exist in any real sense is the stuff of local pols and others seeking the panacea for economic malaise.
Even in St. Lawrence County, there is not universal support for continued lobbying. There is a rival group committed to the more modest but achievable goal of upgrading the Route 11 corridor. There are also many who realize the routing and impact on the environment would be horribly contentious issues even if there was six, eight or whatever number of BILLIONS of dollars to build the eighth wonder of the World.
Endorsing such projects is pro forma for lawmakers. However, not all electeds have reflexively said yes, although the pressure to do so from some quarters in intense. Our City Council has not and privately most involved with the Regional Council say the same.
There is no panacea or silver bullet for real or perceived economic woes, but prudence says focusing on the achievable makes more sense than just donning a lapel pin for your next trip to a chamber dinner or to the labor council meeting.
Watertown Daily Times Rooftop highway is legislators’ daydream