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Clapper Road interchange raises questions

The results are in on the Clapper Road feasibility study about the possibility of a new Thruway interchange in Selkirk, but many questions are still out.

The town board listened to a presentation by Mark Sargent from Creighton Manning Engineering about the financial feasibility to creating a new alignment in the Clapper Road area and the state's Thruway.

We were not asked to do an interchange justification study, he told the board and concluded that a new interchange would be "revenue neutral or better" in terms of being financially feasible.

Sargent said the Clapper Road bridge over the Thruway has been deemed usable in a possible new interchange and discussed two possibilities of an E-Zpass-only interchange on the bridge or a "full access" interchange located 1,500 foot north of the bridge.

Concerning the Clapper Road bridge, Sargent said, "We've concluded that it could be used as part of the interchange." The E-ZPass option would cost around $21.1 million while the full tollbooth option would be $37.1 million, he said.

During the public comment period, two residents who have been vocally opposed to any type of Clapper Road interchange spoke to board members and asked to end all future planning and studies on the matter.

"I request that this matter be done away with and immediately," resident Al Penk said. "Why is this a priority? End this attack on the residents of the Clapper Road area."

Penk said he requested information from the Thruway and said it was the town that was pushing for the interchange and not the Thruway Authority.

Carol Penk reiterated her husband's comments about the Thruway Authority, stating Clapper Road doesn't meet "desirable standards" for an interchange.

She said the "thunder of the traffic" would destroy the "tranquility" of area homes and churches.

Carol Penk also said she took issue with quotes made by Bethlehem Planning

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