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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 contacted the morning of Tuesday, April 2, Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon — who was interviewed in the video — said the DOT contacted him shortly after the video was released to mainstream and social media outlets. A meeting that was supposed to happen in May was expedited, and Canon was supposed to meet with DOT Region 1 (Capital District) Acting Regional Director Sam Zhou at the Newcomb Town Hall on the afternoon of April 2.

Town of Newcomb officials are cautiously optimistic that their attempt to shame the state into fixing Route 28N earlier than planned has succeeded in getting the DOT’s attention. Originally the road work was scheduled for 2015.

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” Canon said the morning of April 2. “The meeting this afternoon is one thing. Starting repair on the road is another.”

Spearheaded by members of the Newcomb Planning Board, with direction from Board Chairman Bob Lilly, Newcomb officials initiated a letter-writing campaign to move the DOT into action. The reply from the DOT was less than satisfactory, as Hai points out in the video:

“Only 1.5 miles of Route 28N meet the criteria for a major rehab project,” Hai said, reading from the DOT reply in the middle of the road, wearing an orange vest and construction helmet. “Which 1.5 miles do you suppose it is?”

Originally built from 1909 to 1913, Route 28N hasn’t seen a reconstruction since 1979. Patching potholes and paving over sections can only do so much with winter frost heaving. In many sections between Long Lake and Newcomb, there is a washboard effect on the asphalt. People have to slow down to keep themselves and their vehicles safe.

“I had a meeting this morning in my office with somebody that came from Saranac Lake, and he’s following a log truck at 3 miles an hour because that’s as fast as the darn thing can go over them bumps,” Canon said in the video.

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