State Senator Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, has introduced legislation -- SB 423 --that Requires the state Department of Transportation to develop a timeline for construction completion of the Super 7 Highway from Norwalk to Danbury.
Building the highway has been talked about for decades. Those opposed to building the highway rally to stop the project whenever the proponents get a little traction. Many opponents have deep pockets, which enable them to hire lawyers, engineers and scientists to bolster their arguments against the highway.
Opponents of the highway, mostly residents and elected officials from Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding, are preparing to mount another campaign to again stall the much needed north-south connection between the two Fairfield county Cities.
Victor Demasi, a Redding resident and the 1980's leader of Citizens for a Sensible 7, is confident the opponents that have fought the highway for 50 years can do it again.
Marilyn Gould, executive director of the Wilton Historical Society and a member of Citizens for Balanced Environment and Transportation, which opposed Super 7 during the 1980s says money is already being collected to campaign against the highway again.
Maryanne Guitar, a former Redding first selectwoman and author of a book about how to can legally block construction projects, says it will be easier to stop the highway now with the internet and blogs.
The state-owned right-of-way is a narrow 890-acre open-space corridor that snakes along the Norwalk River through Ridgefield, Redding and Wilton. State Representative Antonietta Boucher, R-Wilton, has proposed the land be preserved as open space.
Senator Duff believes those speaking out against the Super 7 Highway are "a vocal minority."
For Duff the issue is simple -- there's a need for an expanded transportation corridor between Danbury and Norwalk that is not going away and will continue to grow. The current widening of the existing Route 7 he calls "a waste of money" because it's creating a road that will be filled to capacity as soon as it's finished.
The people who don't realize this, he said, have their heads in the sand. Arguments against it, he said, are red herrings.
"You cannot continue to deny the inevitable," he said.
I'm with Senator Duff on this on. Let's build Super 7 and improve our ability to drive between Norwalk and Danbury. Fifty years is long enough to debate building a highway. If anyone has any doubt about whether the highway is needed, well just drive between Danbury and Norwalk on Route 7 sometime.
What do you say? Shall we build the highway or allow traffic to become even more gridlocked.
Also posted at The Norwalk Blog.