Town of Newcomb officials are cautiously optimistic that their attempt to shame New York state into fixing Route 28N earlier than planned has succeeded in getting the Department of Transportation’s attention.
And we are, too.
A day after Newcomb Planning Board member Paul Hai released a YouTube video highlighting the poor condition of Route 28N on Thursday, March 28, DOT Director of Communications Beau Duffy released an official statement:
“Route 28N is a critical part of the North Country’s infrastructure that is in need of repair. Ensuring that the road is well maintained is critically important to our efforts to increase tourism to the area and showcase the jewel that is the Adirondack Park. More importantly, however, local residents simply should not have to put up with substandard and potentially dangerous road conditions. At the direction of Governor Cuomo and Commissioner McDonald, repairs to 28N will take place on an expedited basis, commencing in the coming weeks.”
Wow. The little town of Newcomb — population 436 in the most remote section of the state — stood up to the goliaths in Albany and won.
Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon was supposed to meet with DOT officials in May about repairing State Route 28N. But after the video was released in the media — on the Facebook page of the News Enterprise, the Times Union’s Capital Confidential blog, and other websites — Canon received a phone call from the DOT to expedite the meeting, which took place Tuesday afternoon, April 2, at Canon’s office.
DOT Region 1 (Capital District) Acting Regional Director Sam Zhou had to drive on Route 28N to get to the Newcomb Town Hall. We hope he also drove to Long Lake, where the worst section is located.
Newcomb officials initiated a letter-writing campaign but received a reply that was less than helpful: