Last year, I went to the DOT's public hearings about their plans to rebuild the highway interchange in Waterbury, and I thought there would be one more, once they finally narrowed down the options. Instead, they're asking that the city give them an opinion on two options by Wednesday. Neither option is great. I really dislike the idea of spreading out 84 as it cuts through the heart of the city. It's really sort of offensive, as if the DOT is trying to wipe out as much of Waterbury as possible. 84 has to be a double decker through Waterbury, to minimize the impact on the city.
I'm also offended by the DOT's efforts to sugar-coat their proposal. Last year they were very reluctant to state which business would lose their buildings because of highway construction. Now they are giving fractions: 43% of Jarjura's Market, 76% of CL&P, 70% of YankeeGas. Are we really supposed to believe that these businesses would continue to operate with only a partial property? Plain and simple, those are 100% losses. The highway construction will take out businesses that have been reliable taxpayers for a very long time. There is no guarantee that they will relocate within Waterbury. The DOT tries to smooth this over by claiming that new developments will somehow bring in millions of dollars in yearly taxes. What, exactly, are these magical developments and how in the world can the DOT promise that they will happen?