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Anxiety grows as roads, bridges crumble

That means massive 18-wheelers will be rumbling down residential neighborhoods, places where people are walking their dogs, places where children are playing.

And it also means five years of heavy trucks chewing up town roads.

Preston says he's worried the state could show up next year and close the bridge down to all forms of traffic.

"For Wilmington, it will be as devastating if this bridge gets closed as it was for the people in the surrounding area of the Crown Point bridge," he said. "It's on a smaller scale, but it's not on a smaller scale when you live here and this is a tourist town and this bridge is a huge attraction. The answer that there's no money to fix anything, I just don't understand the logic of that."

North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi understands Wilmington's situation all too well.

Beginning last year, Politi teamed up with political leaders from across the Tri-Lakes to pressure the state into fixing the stretch of state Route 86 that extends from Saranac Lake to Jay.

The roads are especially bad between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid - the most heavily-traveled eight miles of highway inside the Blue Line.

Politi says he initiated conversations with Mary Ivey of DOT Region 1 in 2010. The response then was the same as it is now - there's just no money.

"Nothing was going to get done," Politi said. "That was about a year ago, and it's just gotten worse."

The concerns surrounding state Route 86 go far beyond a few small potholes - entire chunks of highway are scarred along the shoulder, forcing vehicles to hug tight to the center line.

That's not to say the potholes on Route 86 aren't a problem. The potholes themselves can be up to two feet wide and five inches deep in many places.

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