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Canton marks completion of reconstruction project on main street

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CANTON - It’s ironic the line of traffic early Friday afternoon on the west side of the village was as long as it was during the initial stages of the $10 million reconstruction project as work crews laid sidewalks at the busy intersection of Main and Gouverneur Street.

But traffic delays were temporary and by mid afternoon the traffic flow returned to normal.

After nearly two years of major construction in the heart of the village, downtown businesses, residents and motorists will soon sense normalcy.

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald announced Friday the project is coming to an end. Work crews will remain in Canton to wrap up loose ends, likely until Thanksgiving.

The reconstruction project provided improved transportation infrastructure, increased pedestrian safety and updated public utilities in the village of Canton.

Late Friday afternoon, state DOT officials, representatives from general contractor Luck Bros. Inc., Plattsburgh, and town and village officials gathered in front of the municipal building for an “End of Construction” ribbon cutting and reception.

The two-year project revitalized approximately one mile of U.S. Route 11 in the village of Canton. The highway is the major east/west commercial corridor in the region. The project addressed infrastructure needs, as well as mobility issues in the village. The project was developed with significant community input and includes enhanced pedestrian facilities.

“Utilizing Complete Streets principles, we have upgraded a mile of U.S. Route 11 to enhance safety and mobility for everyone who uses the roadway – motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities,” Commissioner McDonald said in an email.

“Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, we are making smart transportation improvements across the state, creating jobs, supporting economic growth and improving safety and the quality of life for thousands of travelers.”

Acting Regional Director Mark E. Frechette went on to say, “The Canton Village Construction Project has fulfilled a transportation need not only in Canton, but for the north country. U.S. Route 11 is the backbone of the north country transportation network and this project helps to strengthen the entire Route 11 corridor making the movement of goods and people safer and more efficient.”

Canton Mayor David P. Curry said the village and its residents are pleased with the outcome and are excited the project is over.

“The village is very excited to see the completion of the reconstruction project,” Mr. Curry said. “Our citizens will benefit greatly because of this project. This infrastructure work will help build the foundation for economic growth. Thank you to all those involved.”

Canton Town Supervisor David T. Button said of the project, “This is one of the biggest public works projects undertaken in our community in years, and a few folks in town may have lost their patience. But downtown Canton looks clean, attractive and progressive. And the traffic flow has been greatly improved. All of this should help us attract college students, businesses and residents looking for a progressive community to call home. Hats off to the team from NYSDOT and Luck Brothers, who delivered a quality project right on schedule.”

State Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblywoman Addie Jenne Russell concurred.

“Canton’s Main Street plays an important role in the entire north country’s economy,” said State Senator Patty Ritchie. “This multimillion dollar investment in our regional transportation system and local infrastructure will provide long term benefits to area businesses, our colleges and the greater Canton community.”

Assemblywoman Addie Russell said, “The project has not only provided for better pedestrian safety and the maintenance of the downtown’s picturesque aesthetic, it has upgraded essential infrastructure to area businesses. This was a significant investment in the village’s economy as well as public health. Canton’s downtown is now well-positioned to grow and prosper for years to come.”

Business district enhancements on the project include updated utilities and streetscape features such as ornamental lighting, brick pavers, and new plantings as well as crosswalks with bump-outs to enhance pedestrian safety. The residential district also received updated utilities and features to enhance the overall walkability of the community.

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