Route 17 expansion: "People are sick and tired of hearing we need more time"

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Frustrations are abound in Albany and Orange County after a longtime plan to expand Route 17 appears to be getting kicked to the curb again.

Sen. James Skoufis says the DOT commissioner indicated in Albany earlier this week that the project is not likely going to be included in the state's upcoming two-year capitol plan.

Skoufis isn't mincing words when it comes to expanding Route 17 and is pointing a finger at Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "If this doesn't get done, there's only one stakeholder that's to blame and everyone will know it."

Skoufis says the state cited a roadway study that needs to be finished first, but criticized the delay, saying it was funded months ago. "People are sick and tired of hearing we need more time!”

Skoufis says the study can be finished within months and is calling on the state to include the project in the second year of the capitol plan.  "This is the height of irresponsibility, incompetency, however, you want to call it. How dare you say we need more time after this project was started to be looked at in 2005."

The project turns Highway 17 into Interstate 86, with three lanes from Harriman to Sullivan County.
The expansion is widely considered much-needed with millions of Legoland tourists expected on the roadway each year when the mega-theme park opens in July.

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