New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo was back in the Adirondacks today to preside over the reopening of Route 73, a vital road into the North Country. Winding through several small towns and villages, NY State Route 73 connects Interstate 87 with the High Peaks region of the Adirondack North Country. The road was left impassable by massive washouts and huge holes caused by the torrential rain from Hurricane Irene in late August.
“Route 73 is a vital highway connecting residents and businesses in the North Country and today’s reopening is an important step in our recovery from Hurricane Irene,” Governor Cuomo said. “Many communities here in Essex County were hit hard by the storm, and we must continue to help towns like Keene recover and rebuild. I want to thank the hardworking men and women for coming together to get this project done for the people of the North Country.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Transportation and contractors working on recovery projects to focus their resources on immediate reconstruction in order to expedite the highway’s reopening. The highway was initially expected to take months to reopen, and the Governor announced on September 5th that one lane would open in ten days, and the other lane ten days later. The reconstruction project was completed ahead of schedule, and effective at noon today both lanes of Route 73 are open.
According to a statement released by the Governor’s office, the reconstruction efforts brought together a full force of state resources. Approximately 150,000 tons of stone were used and construction workers logged a total of 2,700 hours during the project. Equipment used included 27 contractor trucks, additional DOT trucks, 3 excavators, 2 light plants, 2 vibratory rollers, and various tree and debris removal machinery.
“Route 73 is a vital highway connecting residents and businesses in the North Country and today’s reopening is an important step in our recovery from Hurricane Irene,” Cuomo said. He continued, “The road is open. Come visit us,” Cuomo said. “Foliage season is about to begin. This is one of the most special places in the country, period.”
Today’s visit was the Gov.’s third time in the North Country since the flooding remnants of Hurricane Irene tore through the region two weeks ago.
In other important news, most of the hiking trails closed after the storm have been reopened. Tune in for an update tomorrow and a full trail status report.
Today’s photo shows the new slide on Wright Peak as seen from Marcy Dam on Saturday, another gift from Irene.