POTSDAM - A scenic byway that connects Rouses Point to Massena will soon be expanding to include Potsdam and Canton.
The statewide network of scenic byways was created to promote tourism and travel along existing roads. Routes 11 and 37 from Rouses Point to Massena were designated the Military Byway in 1992.
Its name will soon be changed to the North Country Scenic Byway, to emphasize the regions culture as a whole rather than its military history alone. The route will be extended down Routes 56 and 11 to include Canton and Potsdam.
All of the people we met with said that it really makes sense to expand this byway to Potsdam and Canton, because they are elemental parts of North Country Culture, said Susan Fuller, president of Fuller Communications, Malone. Fuller Communications is a consulting firm spearheading the trail redesign efforts.
Massena, Norfolk, Norwood, Potsdam, Louisville and Canton all need to issue resolutions supporting the byway before the plan can be finalized. Both the town and village of Potsdam have already given their approval.
The new route will include signs along the way with a special symbol to mark the way for travellers, part of a network of such tourist-friendly routes that cross the state.
The trail will connect with four others, including the new Maple Traditions Trail that links Canton, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur and Lowville.
Community businesses will be able to purchase small advertisements for signs along the byway for $50 a year. The money will be used to maintain the program, according to Ms. Fuller.
Communities that are part of the byway may be able to get grant money for infrastructure and tourism projects, like visitor centers.
The paperwork for the proposed name change and extension has already been filed in Albany.
This is the end step, said Robert Hest, of Fuller Communications.
Final approval from the state Department of Transportation and resolutions from the communities along the proposed extension are all that remains before work can begin.