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Highway study worth money

October 9, 2012
The Leader Herald

In today's economic climate, government must consider cutting where necessary as taxpayers struggle to make ends meet.

Certain spending, however, is necessary, and some spending can be a strong investment.

Fulton and Montgomery counties are considering paying $50,000 each to study the possible construction of a bypass highway. That's the local share to pay for the study's total cost of $500,000. The federal government would pay the balance.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors in September authorized spending its $50,000 share to study the feasibility and preliminary design of the bypass connector highway.

Some Montgomery County officials have indicated they will not support spending the money for this study.

That's unfortunate. Montgomery County likely would find the $50,000 expense to be a good investment. But if Montgomery County refuses, Fulton County should consider picking up the entire $100,000 local share.

According to the Federal Highway Administration website, the money will "help study the proposed Fonda Connector Project in Montgomery and Fulton counties by identifying a preferred route, performing preliminary engineering and preparing a project cost estimate."

The highway would stretch from state Thruway Exit 28 in Fultonville to Route 30A near the Johnstown Industrial Park. The bypass also would improve access to the proposed Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center in Perth.

If built, the highway would reduce the commercial truck traffic in the villages of Fultonville and Fonda. This traffic has created safety concerns, air pollution, noise, vibration and congestion. The heavy truck traffic also takes a toll on the local roads.

We hope this idea doesn't get held up by political roadblocks. We understand fears the bypass could hurt business traffic in Fonda and Fultonville, and the bypass could affect some farmland or other rural properties, but we think the counties should proceed with the study.

If this project results in better access to Route 30A and our area's industrial and business centers, $50,000 from each county could be a worthwhile investment in local economic development.



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