Wednesday, November 20, 2013

State To Fix Whiteface Highway, Invest in Trudeau Institute

Cuomo mediaGovernor Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon that the state will spend $12 million to repair the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway.

“It’s a great tourist attraction, but it needs a lot of work,” Cuomo told a crowd gathered at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.

Some 28,500 vehicles drive up the mountain each year. The eight-mile road also is used by hikers, bicyclists, and skiers. It ends just short of the 4,867-foot summit, the fifth-highest in the state.

The state will pick up the entire cost of rebuilding crumbling walls, repaving the road, and repairing the tollhouse, the stone castle at the end of the road, and the elevator that takes people to the summit.

Cuomo rode up the highway earlier in the day. “That highway is a beautiful piece of history, a beautiful piece of our legacy,” he said. “It was FDR at his finest.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor when work on the highway began in 1929. He opened the highway in 1935, when was president. The project had cost $1.2 million.

Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston praised Cuomo for finding the money to fix the highway, which he said is a major tourist draw for his town.“Anybody who hasn’t been up that highway has no idea what they’re missing,” he said. “It’s truly magnificent. It’s a breathtaking view.”

Work on the highway is to begin in spring.

Cuomo also announced that the state will spend $35 million over five years to create a biotech partnership between the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake and Clarkson University in Potsdam. He said the initiative will shore up Trudeau, which had once considered leaving Saranac Lake. The institute employs eighty people.

“We believe we will create hundreds of jobs in this marriage between Clarkson and Trudeau,” Cuomo said.

The governor also said the state will support efforts to refurbish Hotel Saranac and build a new hotel on Lake Flower in Saranac Lake.

Photo by Phil Brown: Governor Andrew Cuomo answers reporters’ questions in Lake Placid. 

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Phil Brown

Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.

4 Responses

  1. Jeff Farbaniec Jeff says:

    Great news for Whiteface.

  2. M.P. Heller says:

    I applaud Gov. Cuomo’s decision to rehabilitate the Toll Road. There are many folks who, for a variety of reasons, have no other way to enjoy one of the High Peak summits. Its nice that this will continue into the future so that the very elderly, disabled, and otherwise unable to hike a long distance individuals can share some of the magic that the Adirondacks have to offer.

    If I were Mr. Cuomo, I think I would have stopped quite a bit short of adding that the Toll Road was one of FDR’s finest accomplishments though. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe he was involved with a bit more than that.

  3. Randy says:

    Also great news for Saranac Lake with the investment in the Trudeau Institute. I visited there this summer and never knew what a gem it is for not only the North Country but NY State as well. Nice to see the TI moving along into the 21st century with Biotech.

  4. jay says:

    Looks like the cuomo just bought the north country.You are now his favorite whore.