Super 7 is the 50 year old DOT plan to link the highway portion of route 7 that ends in Norwalk to the highway portion of route 7 that ends in Danbury. This plan has been dormant for decades because some, dare say, a minority of Wilton residents, don't want it. Their reason defy logic, since the big objection was that it would increase the amount of traffic in Wilton. Well, that is exactly what happened without Super 7, since today over 30,000 cars a day meander up route 7, a one lane road that has numerous construction projects already in progress. Things like underground powerlines being installed under the road as an example.
According to an article in Sunday's Norwalk Advocate, State Rep Toni Boucher-R Wilton, is overjoyed that the DOT will begin widening the one lane route 7 to accommodate the increased traffic.
The Super 7 highway, which would be a four- to six-lane road between Norwalk and Danbury, has been stalled for decades because of protests from Wilton residents and environmentalists.
Some transportation agencies say the highway is needed, but now the project lacks political traction and state funding.
State Rep. Antoinetta "Toni" Boucher, R-Wilton, an opponent of the Super 7, said the DOT's widening plan is the best way to improve traffic flow.
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"Once it gets done, motorists should feel some relief," Boucher said. "We've been pushing for this for quite some time."
The DOT worked with the town while designing the project, she said.
"It's been well-handled and we met on so many occasions," Boucher said. "They've kept the town in the loop."
Wilton officials were concerned about businesses, schools, police and fire department headquarters on Route 7, she said.
While the contractor is widening the road, a lane always will be open in either direction, Mercure said.
If necessary, traffic will be blocked off only late at night, he said.
Apparently Brian Mecure, Supervising Engineer for the DOT project has never experienced the traffic jams caused by the other DOT one lane open, only closed at night, "let's back up cars for miles while someone wants to make a left turn into a business" northern part of the route 7 widening project.
A trip to Danbury form Norwalk, depending on where you depart, is approximately 15 miles. It currently takes 45 minutes on average. Most days it exceeds an hour. A comparable trip from Norwalk to Bridgeport along I-95, also 15 miles takes about 15 minutes.
By building the Super 7 expressway, traffic congestion on I-95 and route 7 will lessen because of the the ability of people who work in the economic super corridor of southwester Connecticut to choose housing options north of Fairfield County. Anyone who commutes in from Milford, Stratford, Trumbull and Shelton would take a hard look at moving to a location that promises a-less-time-in-car commute.
Corporations would be more comfortable relocating to the corridor because there would be an increased pool of workforce that is a reasonable commuting distance. Office developments would diversify towns tax rolls, so that the pressure on increasing infrastructure is mitigated. A diversified tax base helps keep residential property taxes down.
It seems somewhat misguided to have our federal tax dollars used to construct bridges to nowhere in Alaska, and roads to be bombed in Iraq, while the DOT claims that they lack funds for the project. 80% of the construction costs for Super7 are federal dollars, the ones we keep sending to Washington DC but keep getting .69 cents back on. It's time we get our elected officials to start thinking about what's best for Fairfield County as a region.
Commitee to Extend Route 7.
Norwalk Advocate, Route 7 work to begin soon in Wilton, Mark Ginocchio, 9/04/06.