I recently was driving on Route 2 East getting off exit 25 and was approached by a worker who handed me a postcard entitled “Traffic Pattern Survey”.
The Connecticut DOT reports that the survey is intended to “collect data and perform traffic studies as part of a traffic, tolling and revenue in support of the extension of the Route 11 Expressway through Salem, Montville, East Lyme and Waterford.”
While questions on the study ask questions about the driver’s trip; the only question regarding tolling asks drivers if they have “an electronic toll collection account” and which ones.
The survey never asks drivers if they support tolling a proposed Route 11 extension or if they would instead detour the highway to avoid the toll.
For decades, those travelling through Montville via the Connecticut Turnpike paid a toll until it was removed in 1985. Some used secondary roads to avoid the charge. If Governor Dan Malloy’s proposal to complete Route 11 is accomplished, Montville travelers would have to pay a toll along with travelers through the towns of Waterford, East Lyme, and Salem.
It is expected that in the year 2021 (the estimated mid-point of construction), the project would cost $1.4 billion for a 8.5 mile extension of the four lane highway that would feature an additional full interchange in Montville on Route 161 and a complex new interchange with Route 1 and Interstates 95 and 395 in East Lyme and Waterford.
The completion of this highway should take traffic off Route 85 and other alternate routes such as Route 2 and Interstate 395. A completed Route 11 would allow a direct expressway connection between southeastern Connecticut and Hartford.
The Day has expressed support for the project would help southeastern Connecticut economically and provide a better emergency evacuation route while a Hartford Courant writer wrote against it citing enviornmental concerns and a state legislator questions whether the installation of tolls would really lead to drivers paying back the entire cost of the project.
The questions for readers are:
1. Do you support an electronically tolled Route 11 extention to Interstate 95? Please explain why or why not.
2. Do you think an electronically tolled Route 11 extension would successfully reduce traffic on Route 85 or would drivers use Route 85 to detour a tolled highway?
3. Do you think an extention of Route 11 would negatively impact Route 85 businesses or make it easier for its customers to access the businesses?