From Town Hall: Funding for Grumman Hill project is critical
The Town, residents and businesses have worked hard through the years to advocate for safety and operational improvements to the intersection of Route 7 and Grumman Hill Road. Both Route 7 and Grumman Hill have a high level of traffic during commuting hours and turning into Grumman Hill can be difficult throughout the day. The area has been the site of too many accidents, including a fatality. The intersection is also the entry point into ASML, Wilton’s largest employer. ASML is a successful and growing high tech company. They just recently submitted plans to Planning & Zoning for a 45,000 square foot addition to this property. They are seeking to increase their workforce this year and next. ASML’s well-paying jobs are exactly the kind of jobs Connecticut needs.
At a hearing last month, the Connecticut Department of Transportation presented their plans for the necessary improvements. Residents and businesses were supportive and enthusiastic about construction beginning in 2020. Although State funding approvals were necessary, with eighty percent of the cost being funded by the federal government and the State was only required to fund twenty percent, we all left the hearing optimistic. Therefore it was extremely frustrating and upsetting when last week Gov. Malloy included the project as part of his indefinite postponement of $4.3 billion in transportation projects.
Town staff and I just met with members of the project team. Despite the postponement, Department of Transportation personnel are continuing to work on the project. They reported on changes they have made to the plan based on suggestions received at the meeting and in emails. These changes include measurement adjustments to proposed turning lanes, a new signal south of the intersection and additional sidewalks as well as additional signalized crosswalks. They also reported that they are working on an immediate change to the timing of the Route 7 northbound signal so as to allow for easier turning into Grumman Hill from the south bound lane.
We were happy to learn they listened to the residents and business owners, but without funding the project won’t proceed. Our local state legislators, Toni Boucher, Gail Lavielle and Tom O’Dea, all appreciate and support the need for these improvements. Although it is helpful to write to them, I also encourage you to write to Governor Malloy, the Commissioner of Connecticut Economic and Community Development Catherine Smith and other legislators. The compelling safety issues and facilitating the growth of a high tech company, which is providing new well paying jobs, should resonate with them all.
Thank you in advance for your assistance in moving this project forward.
Contact information: Governor Malloy: http://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/Contact-Governor-Malloy/Share-your-Opinion-with-the-Governor
Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Catherine Smith: DEDC@ct.gov