U.S. Sen Schumer Pushes Incoming Biden Administration for Expanded Route 17

U.S. Sen Schumer Pushes Incoming Biden Administration for Expanded Route 17

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who later this month will be designated as the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, revealed on Jan. 14 that he recently held a virtual meeting with incoming U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and urged him to prioritize federal infrastructure funding towards construction projects, including the estimated $500-million expansion of Route 17 from Orange County to Sullivan County.

The Route 17 expansion project is seen by many business and economic development leaders in the Hudson Valley region as critical to the area’s economy, particularly as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Expanding the vital artery of Route 17 to three lanes between Harriman in Orange County to Monticello in Sullivan County is critical for the Hudson Valley’s long-term economic development and recovery after the devastation of the COVID pandemic. The traffic on Route 17 is bad enough now, and new projects are only going to increase the bottlenecks and delays,” said Sen. Schumer.

New York’s senior Senator has been a longtime advocate for an expanded Route 17, going back more than 15 years.

Representatives of advocacy group 17-Forward-86 were emboldened by the reported conversation between Sen. Schumer and the USDOT Secretary nominee Buttigieg.

“We thank Senator Schumer for pushing the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary nominee, Pete Buttigieg, to prioritize federal infrastructure funding for the construction of a third lane on Route 17. As the hundreds of local business and community organizations that make up our coalition look towards the Hudson Valley’s economic comeback, this project is a critical lynchpin to stabilize the economy, bring commerce in, and alleviate the decades long headaches that come with congestion along the Route 17 corridor,” stated Maureen Halahan and Marc Baez 17-Forward 86 Co-Chairs.

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