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Seneca Lake Scenic Byway
HECTOR, NY (WENY) -- An 18-mile stretch of highway in the heart of the Finger Lakes is getting state recognition for its natural beauty.
State and local leaders cut the ribbon today on the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway. It's an 18-mile stretch of state route 414 in Schuyler County from Watkins Glen to Lodi on the eastern side of Seneca Lake.
The state byway designation will highlight the natural attractions like waterfalls, gorges and caverns along the corridor, as well as tourist attractions and local businesses. Signs and information kiosks will go up along the road.
This project has been in the works for 10 years, and Governor Andrew Cuomo approved the Byway on August 2nd.
Local business owners think the byway will be positive for tourism and business.
"I think it is a tremendous oppurtunity, for us to have contiuned tourism coming to this area," said Doug Hazlitt, of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards.
"It helps all of us small buisness people, and that's what this area is about, we are not about corporations, we are about volunteers small buisness, and beauty," said Barry O'Neill, Chairman of the Byway Board of Directors.
During the ceremony, anti-gas storage and fracking protesters took positions across the street and along the new byway. They called on Governor Cuomo and the DEC to deny permits to store liquidified gas, saying it's bad for the environment and tourism.