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North country needs Rooftop Highway

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The Watertown Daily Times has traditionally promoted business and enterprise.

That’s great. Northern New York’s future prosperity depends on these. The editorial on the Rooftop Highway (“Move along: Improving Route 11 bypasses a better plan than creating I-98,” Jan. 29) contradicts these goals. Transportation is the key to growth and financial gain.

New York was not always foremost among the early states. Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts led the way. Dewitt Clinton’s Erie Canal made New York state and New York City the premier places in the fledgling nation.

Route 11 through Philadelphia, Gouverneur, Canton, Potsdam and Malone is a disgrace. The upgrade through Canton has not solved the problem. These wasted millions could have been used to start the Rooftop Highway. Bypasses also will not solve the problem. The solution is to get through traffic past these areas.

The only businesses that will suffer are gas stations. The other businesses cater to local people. These people will continue to support them. During the construction, business will increase.

Interstate 81 was not built all at once. It was built in stages over a few years. I-98 could be the same. It could be started from I-81 past Gouverneur, then to Potsdam and on to Malone.

The Rooftop Highway will improve transportation infrastructure. Businesses and supportive enterprises will follow. Travel on our highways will be safer. I’m still waiting for a huge accident by Indian River Central School.

Republicans, Democrats and conservatives all support the Rooftop Highway; 1955 is gone. The north country deserves a decent highway. Why does the paper want to limit Watertown growth and keep the rest in Appalachia?

I challenge the editor to a debate on this issue in a public forum. And no, I’m not running for public office.

Dwayne L. Martin

Gouverneur

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