from a press release:
SEN. DUFF TO SWRPA: PUT FUNDS TOWARD SUPER 7 OR INTERCHANGE
Formally requests funding be directed away from widening project
Norwalk – In a letter to Southwestern Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) Executive Director Floyd Lapp today, state Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) asked that the agency direct funds away from the Route 7 widening project in the Town of Wilton and be instead put toward either the completion of the Super 7 Expressway or the Merritt Parkway/Super 7 exchange.
“This letter serves as my formal request,” wrote Senator Duff, who serves as vice chair of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee.
He continued, “While I am supportive of a multi-modal approach to the Route 7 corridor, I do not agree with funding peripheral projects at the expense of the larger picture—to develop a full, limited access highway that will alleviate traffic congestion, attendant pollution and other quality-of-life issues.”
Currently, a $375,000 study commissioned by SWRPA is being conducted to analyze the corridor. The study, however, does not examine the potential benefits or drawbacks of constructing a four-lane expressway along the route. Instead, it’s looking at widening, shuttle bus options and train station development in Wilton and other transit hubs as well as improvements to encourage safe bicycle use.
“In the past, I have been vocal about my concerns about the large amount of money allocated by the state to just a few miles of this roadway through the Town of Wilton,” Senator Duff wrote. “Today, I believe that it bears repeating in this time of fiscal crisis, citizens of Connecticut need their tax dollars to stretch further.”
For nearly five decades, state and regional officials have planned an expressway to replace the existing US 7 between Norwalk and Danbury. In 1955, the Connecticut Highway Department began planning improvements to US 7 in this corridor.
Two years later, the state announced that the existing US 7 would be expanded from two to four lanes between Norwalk and Danbury, and estimated that the project would be completed by 1962. Except for several stretches, the existing road was never widened.
The Merritt Parkway/Super 7 interchange is a long-anticipated project that would connect Super 7 and the parkway in all directions. It is not only needed for residential use but also for the business community, as a number of Fortune 500 companies are located in the immediate area.