The Northern Tier Expressway
The Rooftop Highway
Feasibility studies are being considered for the Northern Tier Expressway or what has been called the "Rooftop Highway" along U.S. 11 between Interstates 81 and 87. When completed, this would most likely become Interstate 98. The Northern Tier Expressway is part of High Priority Corridor 50, which was enacted into law on August 10, 2005 as part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) legislation. Environmentalists are not pleased with the idea of converting this stretch of U.S. 11 to an Interstate-grade facility due to the rural nature of the region and the potential environmental impacts. However, other interests see a need for additional highway capacity in a region with constrained transit systems due to a lack of infrastructure. A study called the North Country Transportation Study Action Plan and Final Technical Report (2002) corroborates this, and the study suggests that an expressway or freeway grade facility along U.S. 11 would likely be necessary. As of 2006, NYSDOT is preparing a second study that will refine the findings of the 2002 study and develop an "implementation strategy." Lack of funding for construction of this highway and some local opposition remain an obstacle. Courtesy of The Interstate Guide website, part of AA Roads.
Here is a website dedicated to the project.
I welcome any further information on this project as I continue my research. All contributions will be credited accordingly.
Steve Anderson (at the Roads of New York) brought my attention to a Facebook page dedicated to the "Northern Corridor Project" and it contains a lot of input from the public. It can be found here.