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Scenic byway will include Canton, Potsdam

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A scenic byway that connects Rouses Point to Massena will expand to include Potsdam and Canton.

The statewide network of scenic byways was created to promote tourism and travel along existing roads. Routes 11 and 37 from Rouses Point to Massena were designated the Military Trail in 1992.

Its name soon will be changed to the North Country Scenic Byway to emphasize the region’s culture as a whole, rather than its military history alone. The route will be extended down routes 56 and 11 to include Canton and Potsdam.

“All of the people we met with said that it really makes sense to expand this byway to Potsdam and Canton, because they are elemental parts of north country culture,” said Susan D. Fuller, president of Fuller Communications, Malone. Fuller Communications is a consulting firm spearheading the byway redesign efforts.

Massena, Norfolk, Norwood, Potsdam, Louisville and Canton all have to issue resolutions supporting the byway before the plan can be finalized. Both the town and village of Potsdam have given their approval.

The new designation will include signs with a special symbol to mark the way for travelers. The byway will connect with four others, including the new Maple Traditions Trail that links Canton, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur and Lowville.

Businesses will be able to purchase small advertisements for signs along the byway for $50 a year. The money will be used to maintain the program, according to Ms. Fuller.

Communities that are part of the byway may be able to obtain grant money for infrastructure and tourism projects, such as visitor centers.

The paperwork for the proposed name change and extension has been filed in Albany.

“This is the end step,” said Robert Hest, also of Fuller Communications.

Final approval from the state Department of Transportation and resolutions from the communities along the proposed extension are all that remain to be done before work can begin.

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