Monday, September 22, 2008

I-84 "Wins", Waterbury Loses

I'm currently watching the state Department of Transportation's latest report on their plans for rebuilding the highway interchange through Waterbury. Most of their proposed plans would decimate the center of the city, even worse than what happened when the highways were first built forty years ago. The South End has never recovered from the last highway construction--the presentation immediately preceding the DOT presentation was the Loyola Development group's proposal for rebuilding the South End.

We lost the battle against the power plant and its pollution (DePillo's "compromise" amounts to nothing more than tossing a dog a bone), and now we're about to get shafted by the DOT.

[Update, 9:45 p.m.]
And, speaking of getting shafted, I can't help wondering why the Independents are spending so much time complaining about not being treated with as much respect as they want. I expect my elected officials to focus on government, but Waterbury's Independents seem to spend all their time trying to get into a fight with the Democrats, hampering the progress of government. Whining achieves nothing. Whatever happened to "sticks and stones"? They seem to be more concerned with their egos than with helping Waterbury, which means they are hurting the city they claim to work for.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

when was the study updated? was something announced today? the latest i've found on the mixmaster rebuild program is the 2007 feasibility study....

Waterbury Girl said...

Their website hasn't been updated in over a year (www.i84wins.com). At the Board of Aldermen meeting last night, the DOT representative did a slide-show presentation of the proposed plans and talked about an economic impact study. He also said something about plans to have one more public hearing, but not until after all the decisions have been made.

I believe they are still "deciding" between options 6, 7 and 8. It seemed to me that they are pushing for the options that will cause the most damage to Waterbury, and were trying to persuade the Aldermen that the plan will create jobs in Waterbury (building an expansive new interchange will require more labor, but you'd have to be very naive to believe that they're going to hire Waterbury residents, so, really, the job creation factor is not a benefit for Waterbury).

I was also disturbed by the way the DOT rep breezily stated that businesses could easily relocate to a new location. That same thinking during Urban Renewal in the late '70s forced many established businesses to close forever--and downtown Waterbury has yet to recover.

The rep from Loyola Development had the same blinders on during his presentation, breezily stating that South End residents would simply relocate to new housing, glossing over the many complications and impossibilities involved with a mass relocation.

Anonymous said...

wait -- all of this happened last night? why wasn't there at least a mention of it in today's rep-am? maybe there was and i just didn't see it?

Waterbury Girl said...

Also last night, Kathy McNamara gave a great presentation about the extreme importance of open space and what the city needs to be doing to move forward with that.

It was a busy night. But all that was in today's paper was an article about the Independents and their last-second demand to hold subcommittee meetings in front of the recording camera.

This is why I ranted about the Independents at 9:45. Several very important topics were presented, but they put nearly all of their energy into something that shouldn't have been brought up at all--if you want to make a change to the way a meeting is held, you do that several days beforehand, not three seconds beforehand. They must have known they would be outvoted, which means they really were just trying to grab attention for themselves, which, as today's paper demonstrated, means that issues with a greater impact on Waterbury's citizens aren't getting the attention they deserve.

Hopefully the Republican-American will run more in-depth articles about the South End development, the highway interchange development, and the need to create permanent open space at strategic locations throughout the city.