“Fort Drum has become the economic engine of Northern New York. This project will continue that progress, and will create much-needed construction jobs,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “The importance of Fort Drum to the North Country cannot be overstated. It is the proud home of the 10th Mountain Division, and those stationed at Fort Drum have become an integral part of the local community. As Fort Drum continues to grow, we in State government will continue to work to address the transportation needs in and around it.”
“The base at Fort Drum is not only a major part of the economy of the area, it is part of the very fabric of society in the area,” said Acting Commissioner Gee. “Transportation is about more than cement and steel; it’s about connecting people to jobs, school, healthcare, emergency services, families and friends. Under Governor Paterson’s leadership, the State Department of Transportation recognized the need for this project in order to enhance mobility along Route 11 adjacent to Fort Drum, and to improve access for the increasing number of people who drive to and from the base, and others who travel in the area.”
Acting Commissioner Gee was joined for a ceremonial ground breaking at the project site by Congressman William Owens, Senator Darrel J. Aubertine, Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava, Assemblywoman Addie Russell and Fort Drum Garrison Commander Colonel Kenneth Riddle.
Congressman Owens said “This project is an investment both in jobs and in our community’s future. The connector will help us to capitalize on the potential the Fort Drum region has for economic development and job growth, and allow the Fort to continue its large role in the direction of our community. Additionally, infrastructure projects like this serve to create immediate jobs and help us work our way out of the recession.”
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “This is a great investment for the North Country. Investing in our infrastructure will help improve our roads, connect more of New York, support job creation and help rebuild our economy.”
Senator Aubertine said, “The 10th Mountain Division and the base here at Fort Drum are vital to our national security, good neighbors in our communities and an economic engine. This project allows the base to meet the security needs of our nation with access to a four-lane highway that will support its readiness to deploy. Additionally, the investment will create and support jobs locally. I want to thank and commend our federal representatives, the U.S. Army, the governor, and the dedicated staff of the DOT both locally and in Albany for forging ahead with this project and investing in our communities.”
See more HERE from Newzjunky