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Owens tours library, talks I-98

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Congressman William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, reiterated Monday his support for the proposed four-lane Northern Tier Expressway, the commercial thoroughfare also known as I-98.

Prior to a constituent meeting at Ogdensburg Public Library, Mr. Owens said he supported the “long-term” promise of I-98, saying it’d prove to be as valuable a commercial artery as interstates 87 and 81.

In March, the Federal Highway Administration said that the state Department of Transportation could use $6.3 million that I-98 advocates thought was pegged for the earmarked for an interstate to instead improve Route 11.

Responding to a request from Mr. Owens, Administrator Victor M. Mendez said that the DOT’s plan to use money earmarked in 2005 for the Northern Tier Expressway on Route 11 was an alternative reviewed along with the so-called rooftop highway.

Mr. Owens had an apparently cordial meeting at the library with members of YESeleven, the local grassroots anti-interstate organization.

“It was a very good meeting,” said Klaus Proemm. “He (Mr. Owens) was a very thoughtful listener.”

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