Although he did not mention it in his budget address Wednesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s 30-year transportation plan includes $300 million for “Super 7” to the south of Ridgefield. That is the subject head given under a $10-billion highway plan.
The entry reads: Extension of Route 7 Expressway in Norwalk north to interchange of Route 7 and Route 33 in Wilton.
There is another $40 million allotted to reconstruct existing Route 7 from Grist Mill Road in Norwalk to the intersection of Route 7 and Route 33 in Wilton, expanding the current two lanes to four lanes.
State Senator Toni Boucher, whose district includes Ridgefield, was very displeased with the news.
“This is what they’ve always wanted,” she told the Wilton Bulletin, The Ridgefield Press's sister paper, on Thursday, Feb. 19, “this huge cloverleaf that would decimate this town," referring to Wilton.
She called on anyone — particularly Democrats — who supported the governor in his re-election to oppose it.
“There’s so much more that’s important,” Ms. Boucher said. “Can you imagine with $300 million what they can do to the branch line? What are they thinking?”
Super 7 was originally on the drawing board decades ago and spent years in litigation before the idea was shelved in favor of widening Route 7. Many thought the plan was dead.
In addition to his Route 7 plans, the governor would spend $200 million on reconstructing and reconfiguring the interchange between Route 7 and the Merritt Parkway. This would include final ramp connections to and from the east and from the west with enhancements to the existing old Route 7 interchange area with the Merritt.
“The governor was very careful not to mention anything but the interchange on Route 7 because it overshadows all the good" in the plan, Ms. Boucher said. The details on the Route 7/Super 7 plans are on page 56 of the governor’s 30-year plan, which can be found on the state website (pdf).
Ms. Boucher said the extension from Grist Mill to Route 33 would be akin to “a death by 1,000 cuts. Their true goal is a super highway to Danbury. Were Super 7 to be built in this area it would be elevated to go over wetlands and hills. “The clover leaf, forget it,” Ms. Boucher said. “You would be taking a sweet colonial community and wrecking it.”
She said the Super 7 plan is related to the Route 7/Merritt plan in that it would make commercial property in that area even more valuable than it is now.
“Someone is making a lot of money at the expense of four towns,” including Wilton and Ridgefield, she said.