Schumer’s efforts to widen Rt. 17 bring renewed hope

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MID-HUDSON – The push to widen Route 17 from two to three lanes in each direction from Harriman to Monticello has been ongoing for 15 years, and funding for it may be coming closer to reality.

The effort began in earnest when Senator Charles Schumer secured $1 million to conduct an initial study.

He is once again coming to bat for the project by lobbying with incoming Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

That effort has the full support of Orange County Partnership President Maureen Halahan and Sullivan County Partnership President Marc Baez.

The two are leaders in an ad hoc committee 17-Forward-86 as the New York highway is gradually being transitioned to an interstate.

Halahan believes the Biden administration will advance the project.

“County government on both Orange and Sullivan County sides and elected officials and municipal leaders and business leaders and general residents, school districts, EMTs and healthcare places, everybody is for it,” she said. “It makes sense. We have to get it done; I think we have the right people to get it done,” she said.

Baez is equally as enthused about the prospect of the widening becoming a reality in the years ahead.