On March 29, five hours before the state reversed itself, a link to the video was posted on Capital Confidential, an Albany website monitored by the Governor’s Office.
DOT spokesman Beau Duffy issued a statement that said Gov. Andrew Cuomo and DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald want the road rebuilt as soon as possible.
“At the direction of Governor Cuomo and Commissioner McDonald, repairs to 28N will take place on an expedited basis, commencing in the coming weeks,” Duffy said. “Route 28N is a critical part of the North Country’s infrastructure that is in need of repair.”
DOT representatives were in Newcomb Tuesday, Hai said, and met with them over the now-priority project.
“Our meeting with DOT was very encouraging, and they are setting to work immediately on plans. Once those are done, we’ll meet again to review work and timing, which we all are committed to moving forward as fast as possible.”
Hai said they realize it will take time to rebuild Route 28N.
“Rebuilding a road isn’t something you talk about in April and start in June. We discussed realistic timelines, when can we get roadbed testing done, when can we get contracting awarded. To rebuild a road is a two-year project.”
About all DOT would be able to do this summer is patching, Hai said.
“We’ve had an opportunity to redo the priority of rebuilding Route 28N. We’re starting two years earlier. This (approach) has been more successful than we wildly dreamed.”
It all started with a letter-writing campaign and petition drive directed at DOT, Hai said. Then came the video.
“We seem to have to have done OK with that. We were trying to increase the exposure even more and made the video to highlight the issue.”