County exec fumes as NYS DOT scuttles $2.1 plan to study Route 17 widening

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:30

HARRIMAN — The New York State Department of Transportation has scratched plans to study the potential widening of an often-congested stretch of Route 17. Transportation officials say that because of the state’s fiscal troubles, the agency can’t come up with its $1.1 million share of the $2.1 million cost of hiring a consultant to explore widening Route 17 from two lanes to three in each direction between Harriman and Monticello. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, secured $1 million in federal funds for the study in 2005. He said widening the 37-mile stretch of highway will relieve congestion, especially during the summer tourism season. Schumer on Monday said the state should still go ahead with the study and not put the plans on hold “for another five years.” Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana blasted the state for its “incompetence.” “This latest decision to cancel such a study is very troubling,” he said. “New York State’s inability to look forward and plan for future transportation and infrastructure needs is outrageous. Proper planning and vision to enhance transportation corridors in Orange County, the fastest-growing county in the state, should not be halted even during tough economic times.”