In a press release on Wednesday, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced an Environmental Impact milestone in the conversion of State Route 17 to Interstate 86.

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According to the press release, an environmental review process has begun in Orange and Sullivan Counties after the state allocated up to $1 billion to accelerate the process of converting State Route 17 to Interstate 86.

Governor Hochul stated "The Route 17 Draft Environmental Impact State kicks off this transformative project, which will enhance tourism, economic competitiveness and quality of life for residents and visitors alike. The Mid-Hudson region is a jewel of the New York State and with this project we are helping this region not only meet, but exceed its future potential."

Governor Hochul expects that the project will reduce road congestion and lead to increased investment in the regions surround State Route 17. According to the press release, conversion work on turning State Route 17 into Interstate 86 is responsible for the construction of LEGOLAND and Resorts World Catskills Casino.

The project intends to upgrade the roadway to Interstate standards and add a third lane of traffic.

"This project is a great example of Governor Hochul's vision of reconnecting communities by investing in infrastructure to strengthen our economy and create more resilient and healthier places to live and work," said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. "This environmental review process for the Route 17 conversion is an important step forward that will help us improve one of the busiest travel corridors in the state and bolster an economic lifeline for the surrounding communities."

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