Completion of Drive for 65 in 2021 Breaks Record Set in 2020; Half of County Road Miles Paved in Just Four Years
Rensselaer County has reached an impressive goal, completing the Drive for 65, an effort to pave a record number of road miles in one year, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and members of the County Legislature announced today.
The Drive for 65 references the paving of 65 miles in one year, breaking the previous record of 50 miles set in 2020. Equally impressive is that both records were set during the pandemic and despite some heavy weather events.
The completion of the Drive for 65 also means the county has paved half of the road miles in the county’s 330 mile road network in just four years.
“My administration made a promise to make our county road system a priority and we are proud to have fulfilled the Drive for 65. We thank our outstanding Highway Department team and our paving partners for meeting and exceeding expectation in 2021,” said McLaughlin.
“We are extremely proud of reaching this important milestone. We set a high goal and then set and broke records despite the challenges of the pandemic and some heavy weather events,” added McLaughlin.
The 65th mile was completed on County Route 57 (Phillips Road) in East Greenbush on Wednesday morning. Phillips Road is one of the busiest county roads and was added to the paving schedule after a large subdivision was completed in late summer.
In addition to the 65 miles of roads, the county also paved an additional 10 miles in shared services agreements between the county and the towns of Brunswick and Berlin.
Work is continuing beyond the 65 miles, with the county expected to complete over 70 miles in total during 2021.
The county spent approximately $7 million of county funds in 2021 on the road work, with an additional $4.1 million in state aid. Final figures for the work during 2021 are still being tallied.
In 2020, the county spent approximately $5 million in county funds on road work, with approximately $3.1 million in state aid also added.
“The Drive for 65 has been a great success for Rensselaer County. We have had roads paved across the entire county, and I was especially pleased to see Phillips Road and Snyder’s Lake Road paved during this ambitious paving effort,” Vice Chair of the Legislature Kelly Hoffman- North Greenbush.
“In all of my years on the Legislature, I have never seen this much paving completed in less than four years. Sixty five miles in one season is an incredible feat and a credit to our County Executive and our highway department,” Majority leader Ken Herrington- Brunswick.
“The Legislature was proud to partner with County Executive Steve McLaughlin to finance this historic paving program. This investment in our roads will improve the quality of life of our residents, reduce wear and tear on their vehicles, and make our communities more attractive to new residents and businesses,” Chair of Finance Bob Loveridge- East Schodack.
“When new businesses look for a new location, they look at the infrastructure of that community. The condition of our roadways plays an important role in choosing a location for your business. Rensselaer County can proudly boast that their county roads are in the best condition in history, making our communities more attractive to residents, businesses, and visitors,” Legislator Leon Fiacco- North Greenbush.