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County must choose path

October 25, 2012
The Leader Herald

The likelihood of a new "connector" highway to connect the Thruway to Route 30A will, contrary to what some in Fulton and Montgomery counties believe, ultimately depend on the business side of things instead of politics. The Walmart Supercenter site near the Fulton?County Credit Union, which is now officially on track for completion by next summer, is clearly an example of what Fulton County's future holds in that regard.

The tricky part is in building, beginning with the toll booth in Fonda that is sandwiched in between lots of truck parking, a Dunkin Donuts and a rather wide motel on Riverside. The toll would have to be widely expanded into a large half-circle. Then, the starting point in the new expressway will need to replace the truck lot on the east, which means relocation. The connector will need to move in a more diagonal fashion instead of straight while crossing the Mohawk River. I assume the bridge would be built in an evenly curved arch a little farther east, as it needs to cross Route 5 before reaching the steep valley end a little farther north.

A heavy dose of farmland along with a golf course, Route 67 East and many smaller roads stand farther up the hill in between the connector's suspected bridge's landing and Route 29 before the industrial park. That's going to cost millions for excavation and overall work even for such relatively small mileage. Builders and architects will admire these achievements while farmers will frown upon them as even more concrete than what was needed.

If Fulton County is going to build this highway, it is going to have look beyond its Board of Supervisors' conflicts and decide whether to remain a modest township - founded in part by a respected landowner and made recognizable by pioneers of women's rights - or surrender to urban sprawl.

Let's hope both sides win in the end.





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