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17-Forward-86 Campaign Update
December 2020

The Road Ahead

Dear Coalition members,

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, personally and professionally. Our region has collectively pivoted and we’ve proved ourselves to be nimble, resourceful and innovative in a time of great uncertainty. We wish all of our colleagues health and prosperity in the new year.

As we move into 2021, we know more challenges are to come but, again, we’re confident we’ll persevere. And, we’re committed to seeing through our efforts to improve mobility in the region by adding a third lane along the Route 17 corridor in Orange and Sullivan counties consistent with interstate standards.

We are grateful to our Coalition leadership and each and every member for your continued support of our campaign. Our roads look different now, but as more businesses reopen and workers return to the workplace, we’ll see traffic volume increase. As we rebuild our workforce, businesses and economy we stand firm in our belief that investing in infrastructure will be an essential part of our economic recovery.

Status of the Route 17 Project

As you’re aware, the New York State Department of Transportation last year selected an engineering firm to begin a scoping and preliminary review process as part of a $5 million Planning and Environmental Linkage study, whose funding was secured by our Coalition through the 2018-2019 state budget. The DOT has begun public outreach as part of the PEL process, to streamline and accelerate project delivery. Findings from the PEL study will be included in the environmental documents, so we are requesting the DOT begin drafting the Environmental Impact Statement in conjunction with the PEL study to ensure the project is positioned for federal stimulus or other infrastructure investment programs.

What's Next
The message from Washington is that infrastructure investment will be a priority, with a focus on transformative projects that have significant local support. The Route 17 improvements are consistent with those objectives.

NYS DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez specifically mentioned the Route 17 expansion project in recent remarks to the Assembly Transportation Committee. She also noted the PEL study is moving forward. We recently sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo on behalf of our Coalition urging the governor to see the Route 17 expansion project come to fruition and are following up with the commissioner and other officials. We must continue our efforts and be vocal.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Visit our website 17Forward86.org to learn more and sign our petition to move our region forward!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and share our message.

KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING
TEAMWORK:
Our membership is more than 200 and growing – please share our message with your colleagues and associates and sign them up!
SPEAK OUT:
Please take a few minutes and respond to our questionnaire.
“We must invest in our state’s long-term health. Infrastructure is a bridge to the future – it creates jobs so people can start and raise families, build stronger communities and boost local economies. Widening Route 17 is critical and now is the time to move forward. Let’s take those steps now to pave our path to recovery.”

Ross Pepe, Coalition founding member, and President of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc.
About 17-Forward-86
17-Forward-86 was established in 2017 by a dedicated group of advocates who support the expansion of Route 17. The coalition comprises more than 200 members of economic development groups, construction trades, tourism groups and energy companies who share a common vision for expanding the capacity of Route 17 to strengthen the economic well-being of the Hudson Valley and Sullivan Catskills. www.17Forward86.org.
 
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