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Date: Mon 12-Oct-1998



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Date: Mon 12-Oct-1998

Publication: Bee

Author: STEVEB

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Officials Celebrate Successful By-Pass Operation

(with photo)


While police held back traffic for a few minutes, town and state officials

quickly stretched a blue ribbon across the Fairfield Hills bypass road Friday

afternoon and just as quickly snipped it in half with oversized scissors. The

$4 million state Route 490 was officially opened.

The state's Department of Transportation (DOT) is not done with the project

yet, however.

According to DOT's chief engineer Jim Burns, signs still have to be installed

to let drivers know that there is a bypass road linking Route 25 with

Interstate 84 and Route 34. The main purpose of the road is to alleviate high

traffic levels in the center of Newtown. Without signs, drivers will not know

the road exists.

Signs will be needed at either end of the bypass road -- at the intersection

of Mile Hill Road and Route 25 and at the intersection of Mile Hill Road and

Route 34. Also, Mr Burns said the DOT will likely put up a sign at exit 9

eastbound. This would inform Bridgeport-bound drivers to proceed to exit 11 to

access the bypass.

State Rep Julia Wasserman served as master of ceremonies at the

ribbon-cutting, and she thanked everyone involved in the event. The road was

opened to traffic six months ahead of schedule. Mrs Wasserman was instrumental

in getting the job done, and earlier this month, the Board of Selectman voted

to name the bypass "Wasserman's Way," in her honor.

Newtown resident Mike Osborne, representing the nearby Pootatuck Fish & Game

Club, congratulated both the town and state for working together to get the

job done right.

"I think we've put together something that everyone will be proud of for a

long time," he said.

Herb Rosenthal said he was pleased to see the project finally come to

fruition. He was appointed to a committee 25 years ago to identify possible

solutions to Route 25 problems. One of the committee's main recommendations

was an east-west bypass road to alleviate some of the traffic on Route 25.

Speakers also thanked Richard Nuclo, director of the Office of Policy and

Management (OPM), who has played a large part in the on-going transitions at

Fairfield Hills.

Others attending the ceremony were Police Chief Jim Lysaght, Borough Warden

Joan Crick, representatives of Tunxis Management and the state's Department of

Corrections, Paul Brautigam of the Chamber of Commerce of Newtown, former

first selectman Bob Cascella, Frank DeLucia of Nunnawauk Meadows, Police

Commissioner Bill Meyers, Dayton Construction, Task Force members Carol Recht,

Jan Roman, Walter Motyka, Mike Snyder and resident Lillian Strickler.

As part of the new road construction, the DOT installed a new bridge over the

Pootatuck River at the lower end of the road.

Mr Burns said his staff still has additional landscaping to do, as well as a

few minor adjustments to the roadway.

The long-awaited bypass road was built as a result of a 1991 agreement between

the town and the state over the construction of the Garner Correctional

Facility on Nunnawauk Road.

At the ceremony, Mr Burns said the DOT is also working aggressively to replace

the low-slung railroad overpass on Church Hill Road. The bridge has been

struck by large trucks on numerous occasions over the years.

Comments are open. Be civil.

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