The state Department of Transportation has set a time to repave the Sara-Placid Highway - next month.
DOT spokeswoman Carol Breen told the Enterprise on Thursday resurfacing work on state Route 86 is scheduled to begin on June 11 and last for about two weeks. Work crews will repave the 8-mile stretch and re-stripe travel lanes to leave more room along the shoulders.
Elected officials from Saranac Lake and Lake Placid began calling on DOT to fix the highway several years ago. It's one of the most heavily traveled roads in the Adirondack Park, and officials were concerned about the safety of motorists, cyclists and other users.
DOT will not widen the existing highway because that would require costly engineering. The department will re-stripe the travel lanes for motorists to a width of 10 feet, leaving an extra foot of shoulder on both sides.
The original plans were altered after cycling advocates turned in a petition with more than 1,600 signatures seeking 5-foot shoulders wherever possible. Cyclists said the highway helps connect them with great cycling opportunities in and around Saranac Lake, but many people avoid it because it's in such bad shape.
Dan Mac Entee, spokesman for state Sen. Betty Little, said Little has been in touch with DOT repeatedly.
"(DOT) is somewhat limited," Mac Entee said. "Little's message is to try and maximize the shoulder to whatever extent possible."
Once the Sara-Placid Highway project is complete, DOT crews will move to work on the stretch of Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington. They are expected to begin there on July 23 and continue through mid-August.
DOT has scheduled local highway work so it won't interfere with the July 22 Ironman triathlon.
Contact Chris Morris at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.