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Newcomb fights Albany with video to get State Route 28N fixed

Screenshot of PAul Hal in Newcomb's video

Screenshot of PAul Hal in Newcomb's video

— When Adventure Cycling picked the route for 52-year-old Mark Mansell to take his cross-country bicycle trip through the Adirondack Park in August 2012, the company sent him along State Route 28N, through the towns of Long Lake and Newcomb.

Traveling from Old Forge in the west to Ticonderoga in the east, this was the quickest route on paper. Many tourists who have never driven Route 28N probably make the same decision. After all, GPS gadgets don’t know the difference between a smooth road and a rough road.

Route 28N is a rough road.

“It’s an embarrassment,” Long Lake Town Supervisor Clark Seaman told Newcomb Planning Board member Paul Hai during an interview for his YouTube video highlighting the rough road conditions of Route 28N, especially the 13-mile section between Long Lake and Newcomb.

Hai released the video on Thursday, March 28, sending a YouTube link to as many people as he could, including media outlets in the Adirondack region and as far south as Albany. The News Enterprise quickly posted the link on its Facebook page and made a phone call to the New York State Department of Transportation office in Albany. The Times Union mentioned the video and posted a link on its Capitol Confidential blog.

The video is 6:42 minutes of interviews, information and slapstick. Apparently it struck a nerve in Albany. By Friday afternoon, 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.”

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