Despite pandemic, Partnership president confident widening of Rt. 17 will happen

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GOSHEN – Plans have been under discussion for years to add a third lane in each direction on Route 17 between Central Valley and Monticello, but aside from $2 million appropriated by US Senator Charles Schumer for an initial study, nothing has happened.

Several business and community leaders formed the ad hoc committee 17Forward86 over a year ago to lobby for the project and despite economic setbacks caused by the pandemic, Orange County Partnership President Maureen Halahan, a leader in the effort, believes the project will come to fruition.

She said Schumer has made it one of his top priorities and while the state is broke, Governor Cuomo also supports it.

“We worked for years getting everyone from healthcare providers to school districts to local businesses all along the 17 corridor to support it. Every municipality supports it going up the corridor and I think it is going to happen,” she said.

Also leading the effort are the Sullivan County Partnership and the Orange County Citizens Foundation.

New York Route 17 is gradually being converted to Interstate 86, thus the name of the group -17Forward86.