Chemung Co. Legislator urges I-86 completion
Construction on Interstate 86 has been going on for 13 years. And there are still about 160 miles left to finish. One Chemung County Legislator is working to put this project on the fast track toward completion. Our Lara Greenberg tells us about his plans and what one local municipality is doing to prepare for the economic boom that's expected.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Thousands of cars drive on Interstate 86 each day. But the highway can only take them so far.
After 13 years, there are still about 160 miles left that need to be converted before the I-86 project is complete.
"Just get it done."
Chemung County Legislator Ted Bennett traveled to the 10 counties along the corridor last month. He and other county officials are urging Governor Cuomo to advance funding for the completion of the project in Broome, Delaware, Sullivan, and Orange Counties.
"You're on the map. You're a blue line on the map. And that makes a big difference for the people that are going to develop the businesses," said Bennet.
There's no doubt that completion of the I-86 project would drive business to the region, but officials say municipalities need to be prepared for the added industry, people, and traffic."
Don Zeigler owns Zeigler's Florists in Horseheads. He's also the village mayor. He praises the I-86 project.
"It's really helping the economy. I see it in Horseheads," said Zeigler.
But it's also caused a lot of truck traffic in the village.
"What happens when it interferes with the rest of town?" we asked Zeigler.
"What happens is you've got 18-wheelers driving up Broad Street, Center Street. They're getting lost. They don't know how, they're first-timers here," said Zeigler.
He plans to build a connector road from The Center at Horseheads to the interstate.
And he says all municipalities should be prepared for the economic boom that I-86 is expected to bring.
The Chemung County Legislature passed a resolution for completion of the project. That's been sent to Governor Cuomo's office.
Bennett hopes to have the project complete in the next 3 to 5 years.