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Take Note: Surveyors Counting Cars Near Drum

Surveyors counted cars around Fort Drum Wednesday, as part of a proposal to connect Route 81 to the post.
/ Source: WWNY-TV

A team of surveyors fanned out on the roads near Fort Drum Wednesday, taking down the license plates of passing motorists.

The reason?

The surveyors are part of a study of Drum's traffic. The study is part of a proposal to build a direct link off Route 81 to the post.

About 70 surveyors participated Wednesday.

"We've got a 20 square mile area of the project we're cataloging...so we can get an idea where people are coming from and going to," said Mark Pawlick, a vice-president of Lochner Engineering.

When the project was first announced in January of 2004, we were told there were three different proposals for an exit.

The project would cost between $35 and $55 million dollars and is years away from being started.

The new exit would address the crush of traffic that occurs sometimes north of Watertown around Fort Drum, on Routes 11 and 342.

"We have military traffic, we've got through traffic, we've got local traffic, all trying to get through the same stretch of highway," said Mike Flock from the Department of Transportation. (January interview)

The three proposals all would affect the area around the existing Fort Drum exit, (exit 48) which connects 81 to Fort Drum by way of Route 342.

One proposal would build a new exit north of the existing exit 48; the second would build it south of 48; the third would widen the existing Route 342 off 48.

"With the number of people on post, a four lane connector from Route 81 to Fort Drum is the logical way to go," said Paul Fitzgerald from the Town of Pamelia. "It's gotta be done." (January interview)